EDISON – Edison Township Public Schools now have a director of school safety and security.
Interim Schools Superintendent Paul Saxton introduced Patrick Kissane at a Board of Education (BOE) Caucus Meeting on Jan. 23.
Kissane will lead and oversee the safety and security of the 16,600 students and 2,100 staff members in 20 buildings for the 2018-19 school year.
School Business Administrator Dan Michaud said Edison has never had a security director before. He reported that Kissane was hired on Jan. 14 and his annual salary is $130,000. Michaud added since Kissane is a retired police officer, he receives his health coverage from the police state pension fund.
According to Saxton, Kissane earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He completed a certified management course from Rutgers University and has a number of certifications in school safety and security, emergency management, homeland security, global security and terrorism.
He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Persian Gulf War in 1990. He is a retired deputy police chief of the Fort Lee Police Department where he served as the operations commander and overall supervisor of the patrol and detective division.
Kissane served as police liaison to the Fort Lee School District and served on a counterterrorism task force in Fort Lee. He served as a member of the New Jersey K-12 Security Task Force for the New Jersey Homeland Security Association, served as a member of the New Jersey Law Enforcement Education Working Group for the New Jersey Attorney General, served as a member of a school security committee for the New Jersey School Board Association, and served on the security task force for the New Jersey Legislature.
During his career, Kissane received a number of awards and commendations including a legislative award from State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) for his more than 20 years of dedicated service to school districts in New Jersey.
In other security school news, the shared services agreement between the BOE and the Edison Police Department to bring in Class III special law enforcement officers (SLEO) and off-duty police officers to provide security in and around schools has been tabled.
Saxton said the committee reviewing the agreement found vulnerabilities in the agreement.
“Patrick [Kissane] and I met with Police Captain [Joseph] Shannon for three hours going line by line [through the agreement],” he said.
Saxton said school officials do not want to approve the agreement in haste and plan to have it on for the February board meeting.
“We all have our ducks, now we just have to put them in a proper row that we can feel satisfied and then we have to go back to the board, review it with them, then go back to the police department, and review it with them,” he said. “I don’t want to implement a program that has vulnerability in it and it’s just not cost-effective to do that.”
Saxton said a review of the original concept agreement could save hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to the previous plan.
“I think anytime you can save that kind of money, maintain a quality of excellence, and [have the opportunity to] develop a new plan, do it,” he said.