2022-06-24-School Security Statement from the Superintendent of Schools

2022-06-24-School Security Statement from the Superintendent of Schools

Dear Families of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, 

We take this opportunity to share with you the importance of our long-standing mission to provide security and safety to all of our students and staff members in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School.

The tragic events in Uvalde, Texas have shocked our country and have resulted in a renewed focus on security measures within the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. 

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s Board of Education approved hirings that evidenced a commitment to the safety of all. The Board of Education took a proactive approach, with the goal of assessing the needs of our entire district. Most importantly, the district took a holistic view of school security, focusing on a variety of potential threats, including intruders, pedestrian safety, traffic flow, visitor access, etc..  In addition to increased staffing, the district has added security cameras, access swipes, and panic buttons throughout the 11 schools in the summer of 2021. Several other security upgrades have been implemented that the district cannot divulge due to their confidential nature.  

The position of District Coordinator of School Security was created in the fall of 2021 to provide guidance on all facets of school security and to conduct a review of the school district's present procedures. The result of our District Coordinator’s actions led to the hiring of four additional campus monitors who will rotate through our schools’ campuses, for the purpose of reinforcing our existing security protocols.

One of the crucial goals in the hiring of the district’s four campus monitors was to attract highly-qualified and experienced law enforcement agents. The school district strongly believes it accomplished that task. Our campus monitors bring outstanding credentials in their previous positions as high-ranking officials in the New Jersey State Police, Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, and local police departments, each with over 20 years of service to the citizens of New Jersey. Three of our campus monitors have not only served their state but served their country in the Armed Forces.  One of these new hires served as a Class III officer for the Bridgewater Police Department before joining the district directly.  Only the most impeccable records from candidates were considered by the district in the hiring process. 

The role of our District Coordinator of School Security and the Assistant Coordinator of School Security includes a continual assessment of our school district’s entire security team and structure. Maintaining communication and a sound working relationship with the Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough police departments are key essentials to the success of these positions. Our coordinators are the point of contact for our administration, district security unit, and the local chiefs of police.  Their role also includes the development of training protocols between the school security team, School Resource Officers, Special Three Officers, school staff, and local police departments.  

The school district will continue to partner with our local police and will maintain the contract that calls for two School Resource Officers and three Class 3 Officers. In this agreement, the school district finances one School Resource Officer and three Class 3 Officers while Bridgewater Township funds one School Resource Officer. We will continue to collaborate with the Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough Police Departments in working together toward the shared responsibility of protecting our students and staff.  We have never had and never will have competing interests with the municipalities.  Any mention of division between administration, local police, and our district security employees appears to be politically motivated.  The Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s proposal is a common solution utilized by many districts in tackling the complex issue of school security.  

The Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District commends the governing bodies of both Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough for their cooperation with this vastly enhanced security plan and the school district will remain open to receiving suggestions to improve any safety measures. Importantly, our plan is not static and will continually be updated and evaluated.  

We also take this time to ask that each and every one of you please enjoy this summer vacation and be prepared for what we feel will be a successful educational 2022-2023 school year in September. 

Thank you, 

Robert Beers 
Superintendent of Schools
Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District