Camden County is adopting a new "plain speech" system that will better guide students and staff in responding to an emergency situation in a school. This is replacing a coded lexicon that has been in practice since 2007.
Gloucester Township police Chief Harry Earle, chairman of the Police Chiefs Association School Safety Committee, will help explain the new guidelines during a news conference Thursday at Camden County College in Blackwood.
"Unanticipated tragic events can quickly escalate into a school catastrophe if not dealt with immediately and effectively," Earle said. "It is well understood that knowing what to do when a crisis occurs can minimize the chaos, rumors, and the impact of the event on students, staff, parents and community. "Establishing a common set of policies and guidelines to be available for utilization by every school throughout Camden County has ensured emergency personnel since 2007 act in unison regardless of jurisdiction when responding to an event at a school."
The Camden County Freeholder Board’s Department of Public Safety, County Superintendent of Schools, Police Chiefs Association, Fire Chiefs and Fire Officers Association and Prosecutors Office have collaborated to establish updated common language and procedures for critical incidents. The new terminology will be implemented at all schools within the county.