The Morris County Prosecutor's Office unveiled the second
phase of a county-wide project today to bolster security on
campuses throughout the county.
Captain Jeffrey Paul; Dr. Kathleen
Serrafino; Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq; Alfonse
Imperiale; First Assistant Prosecutor Tom Zelante, Esq
The reason: The potential for school violence, the
prosecutor and members of his office told a crowd of 200
police officers and school administrative officials at the
Morris County Public Safety Training Academy.
From aerial photographs and the workings of security systems
to the cell phone number of the night custodian, the
prosecutor's office is compiling information to better
prepare police, educators and all other emergency workers
for a number of emergencies such as an armed intruder,
active shooter, kidnapper and others.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq., said his
office is doing all it can to equip school officials and law
enforcement with the know-how necessary in a crisis.
"We have made the protection of our children the highest
priority," Bianchi said. "Morris County should be proud that
this planning is unique and is becoming the model for other
counties throughout the state."
First Assistant Prosecutor Tom Zelante, Captain Jeff Paul,
Alfonse Imperiale, the county's risk mitigation planner,
Sgt. Robert McDermott -- all from the county prosecutor's
office; Kinnelon police Chief John Finkle, who heads the
county police chiefs association, and local police chiefs
worked on the project for several months.
School building floor plans, doorways, gas pipes and a
multitude of photographs and information fill the
Phase one presented to law enforcement and educators earlier
this year, focused on explaining how law enforcement
functions during an emergency. The second and third phases
focus on the practical nuts-and-bolts gathering of
information and instruction on how to actually handle an
"Whether it's an active shooter, a chemical spill or a
natural disaster, we are making sure we are ready. This is
hazard planning for the schools," Finkle said.
"It's not a question of when it will happen, but rather
where it will happen," Captain Jeff Paul added.
Morris School District Superintendent Thomas Ficarra said
educators are welcoming this initiative. "The prosecutor is
upping the level of cooperation and communication and that's
important. A crisis is no time to be bumping around for
Bianchi, during the seminars, especially thanked Morris
County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Serrafino, who
was instrumental for bringing the school districts and law
enforcement community together.
"The added benefit to this extraordinary worth-while program
are the relationships and the communication developing
between the law enforcement and education communities,"
"After this project, we have already agreed to continuing
this partnership in addressing drugs, gangs, bullying,
cybercrime and other areas of concern that affect the well
being of our children," Bianchi said.