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Mayor: GT Drills Regularly for Possible School Violence

In a letter to the community, David Mayer sends his sympathies to Newtown, CT, and covers how Gloucester Township has prepared for a similar emergency.

Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer sent the following letter about the Newtown, CT, shooting to the community via email on Sunday: 

Dear Gloucester Township Neighbor,

I am sure that you are as shocked and saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in the community of Newtown, CT, just this past Friday. Soon after learning of the tragedy, I immediately spoke with Gloucester Township Public Schools Superintendent John Bilodeau, Black Horse Pike Regional School Superintendent John Golden, members of Gloucester Township Council and Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle.

My conversations with the superintendents and our chief of police have focused on our collective commitment to ensuring the safety of our students, teachers and parents at every school in our community. Fortunately, our police department, in cooperation with our schools, has been planning and preparing for well over 10 years on how to respond to a violent school event. The type of planning and training undertaken by law enforcement and schools throughout our country undoubtedly helped save lives this past Friday in Newtown.

The Gloucester Township Police Department regularly participates in training and emergency drills at our schools. It is this type of partnership that helps ensure the safety of our children. My discussions with the leaders of our community, including our Township Council, educational leaders, and chief of police, have all resulted in a clear understanding that collectively we will continue to work together and develop even more programs, initiatives, and strategies to make our schools even safer. I assure you that these discussions involving the safety of our children will continue in the coming days, weeks, and months. As community leaders it is critical that we have ongoing roundtable dialogue to ensure that we work together to ensure our schools are safe and to ensure that parents and their children feel safe.

Chief Earle has assured me that he has directed additional and enhanced patrols for our schools. Although the threat of violence at one of schools is incredibly low, it is so important that all of our community members are comfortable tomorrow when they kiss their children goodbye and send them to school.

I offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the victims and the entire community of Newtown, CT.

God Bless,
Mayor David Mayer

Tell us: Do you want Gloucester Township schools to do anything in particular to prepare for an emergency? 

Jim December 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM
The training on response I'm sure is top notch. However, as a parent of two children in Loring Flemming I can attest that their is not enough preventative security that would stop an armed sicko from randomly entering this school as what happened in CT. The extreme amt of money paid in taxes in this town should allow high level security at the schools. Instead for example, you have money to put a solar system on the roof of the municipal building and there are more than enough twp workers hanging around wawa every morning apparently with nothing to do but leave trucks running in the parking lot while drinking coffee and creepily staring at the women that walk in and out every day. It's embarrasing. I understand there is only so much that can be done without taking away simple freedom to prepare for a wack job doing something like this but you really better step it up somehow.
Ben December 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Didn't you know that the public works offices are at Wawa? Every hour they are there.
Zorayda December 17, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I would really like to have two armed security guards at each of our schools. I really believe that the attacker in CT knew he was going into a very vulnerable place with mostly women and children. But an attacker would think twice if he knew there were armed guards at the schools.
True Dat December 17, 2012 at 05:41 PM
There is a fine line and a constant debate between a free, open society and the safety of the society. In my opinion, Zorayda's idea crosses too far over that line.
Brian Sarne December 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Im sure the police are prepared for such an avent,the problem is how do we prevent it from happening. The schools are all locked and you have to hit a call button to be allowed in.But if someone say had a jacket on or something to conceal what they are carrying and get buzzed in whats to stop them. Its a double edge sword,i mean if you have cops there armed it may be safer but in the same way are we crossing a line. Im sure metal detectors can be put in and yes may be annoying to some but maybe would help. I mean we deal with all the airport stuff so that we can be safer.Just once again the problem is once someone walks threw the doors even if there was a metal detector he can still just open up and start firing before goes threw it.We really need to come up with an idea for the schools to guaruantee our kids safety. Possibly having the metal detector and a police officer right there by it,so god forbid he could be right there incase something happens. Just a thought,im not much for typing in or commenting but my heart is broken watching what happened in sandy hook. Couldnt even imagine what the families are going threw,and never want to see this happen again anywhere.
GTWatchdawg December 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM
They are using the metal detector for council meetings. Go figure.
Randy December 25, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Mayor Mayer should be under federal investigation for RICO
Paul J. DiBartolo December 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Psssst, wanna hear a dirty little secret? The school attended by the two Obama girls has eleven armed guards. Oh, the inhumanity of having the world's biggest hypocrite as our president. And to think...four more years. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/23/School-Obama-s-Daughters-Attend-Has-11-Armed-Guards-Not-Counting-Secret-Service)
Sonia January 04, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Hey Mayor, why don't you clean up your overpaid police force and get them trained so people don't get murdered. Your such a fake hypocrite. Mayor Mayers Highly paid Police puppets
Sonia January 04, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Do what your told you police puppets and you get a taxpayers new crossover cop car or a workers comp claim payment. Compliments of the taxpayers. Mayor Mayer uses his cops to bully harass and break the law. Keep being mayor/norcross puppets and guess where you'll wind up. The investigation in this township is on finally.

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