Princeton creates coordinator of school security position


Aiming to ensure the safety of students and staff, school district officials in Princeton have created the new position of coordinator of School Security Operations.

The new position was approved by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education at its May 25 meeting. The coordinator will be appointed for a one-year contract that is renewable annually. The salary has not been set.

School district officials have already taken steps to ensure students and staff are safe, through the construction of new entrance vestibules. Visitors to a school must be checked in by the school building monitor.

But coordinating emergency procedures with the police, which involves planning and drills in advance of an incident, has become more time-consuming and also requires some specific technical expertise – and that’s why the position was created, school district officials said.

“It is incumbent on the school district to hire a person with expertise so that we can provide the safest and least restrictive environment for our students and staff,” said Barry Galasso, the interim superintendent of schools.

He or she will be in charge of coordinating a comprehensive school safety program that will involve working with the police, as well as working with administrators and the community on all areas of school safety, school district officials said.

The coordinator will serve as the liaison to the Princeton Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the Office of Emergency Management. The coordinator will respond to emergency situations at all of the school buildings – whether during the work day or after work – to resolve immediate safety concerns.

The coordinator will screen and recommend applicants to be hired for district security positions, and provide training for all personnel – including building monitors – that are responsible for school safety and security, according to the job description.

Other duties include making recommendations for school-based educational crime prevention programs, and reviewing and making recommendations for building security and surveillance improvements.

The coordinator will hold a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, public administration, sociology or related fields. Experience in law enforcement or related experience – including progressive management experience – is desired.