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Surprise Security Inspections To Begin At New Jersey Schools

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Education and law enforcement officials in New Jersey plan to start conducting surprise security inspections at schools across the state.

The state Department of Education’s Preparedness and Emergency Planning Office made the recommendation in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.

Department officials said they wanted to ensure that schools were prepared to conduct unplanned lockdowns and security drills.

Administrators will also receive additional safety training.

The plan was discussed Wednesday at a state Board of Education Meeting.

New Jersey has some of the toughest school security requirements in the nation and was already working on updating school security requirements before a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December.

New Jersey currently requires schools to hold a lockdown drill as well as a shooting drill twice per year. But New Jersey education officials want to make sure that those plans are being followed.

Police officers were stationed at some schools in New Jersey after the Connecticut shooting.

Education officials, along with the state Office of Homeland Security and local police, will begin making unannounced visits to conduct 10-point spot checks in schools. They plan to start later this month.

School superintendents said they’d welcome the drills, but some said they hoped the exercise would count toward their yearly requirements.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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