FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2014
News release (pdf)
J. Richard Norton, President & CEO, EAS
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Libby Vinson, ABS
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Quality Education Starts with Safe Schools, Eastern Armored Encourages School Districts to
Evaluate School Safety Protocols
Hamilton Twp. (Mercer) – NJ—The week of October 20-24, 2014 is ‘School Violence Awareness Week’ in New Jersey. In commemoration, students across the Garden State will be participating in activities centered on raising awareness about the growing problem in our State’s schools and what can be done to prevent it. Eastern Armored Services—a school security officer personnel company located in Trenton—says the time is ideal for school districts to take a deeper look into their safety protocols to ensure they are providing the highest level of safety and security in their buildings. Just last month, the FBI released a study of 160 active shooter incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2013 throughout the U.S. Thirty-nine incidents (24.3%) took place in an educational environment. Active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent – the first seven years of the study show an average of 6.4 annually, while the last seven show 16.4 incidents annually.
In the wake of recent school tragedies, much of the attention in schools has been on lockdown drills and how they can be practiced and adjusted to minimize casualties in the event of an armed intruder. While preparation is certainly an important factor in prevention, Eastern believes school districts should examine the entire spectrum of options available to address school security. That should include looking into the cost comparison and security expertise that districts can achieve by hiring highly-trained school security officers, armed or unarmed, from outside companies like Eastern.
We are dedicated to making schools safer for children, using comprehensive on-site school security solutions that are proven and cost effective,” said Richard Norton, President/CEO of Eastern. “Our expertly-trained Security Officers can help schools prevent and manage school violence, reduce safety risks and liabilities, and promote a safe learning environment. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring our schools remain the safe havens of learning and fun our students deserve,” he continued.
From unarmed security officers and safety patrol officers to armed security officers and plain clothes security surveillance officers, all of Eastern’s personnel are highly-skilled, certified and well-trained in all aspects of school protection. They understand the unique security challenges and risks facing educational institutions, enabling them to provide the most effective and responsive safety protocols to safeguard the school environment.
Additionally, every Eastern Armored officer is fully insured and put through extensive local, state and federal checks. They are licensed by the State of New Jersey under the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA), which requires training in prevention and deterrence security measures, terrorism awareness, first aid, gangs, ethics, incident command, the state’s use of force policy, and other timely security issues. Eastern’s armed officers also receive additional specialized training in weapons retention and use, and must qualify twice a year under training guidelines set by the NJ Attorney General’s Office.
“It is important to remember that school security is not a single-issue conversation. There are no easy answers to the complex problem of school safety and school violence. ‘School Violence Awareness Week’ is a good reminder that so much more work needs to be done in New Jersey to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. School board members, administrators and parents should continue to work with security experts, legal counsel and law enforcement to devise the best approach to protect our most precious asset, our children,” Norton concluded.
About Eastern Armored Services, Inc.
Established in 1992, Eastern Armored is the area’s elite provider of armored car transportation, money processing and vaulting services, and security consulting. Just recently, the company expanded its security offerings into schools, providing K-12 districts and colleges flexible solutions to better protect their students and staff with either armed or unarmed on-site security officers.
All of Eastern’s employees are highly-trained, fully insured and licensed by the State of NJ to carry firearms individually and corporately. The company is also licensed by the State of NJ to provide security services (Security Agency License # 1556), as well as by the federal Department of Interior to perform armed services on federal property. These certifications provide additional expertise, training, and peace of mind for Eastern’s clients.
The Founder and President of Eastern, J. Richard Norton, has 40 years in the security industry. He also served 4 years of active duty in the U.S. Army, Vietnam, Combat Infantry Platoon Leader, 101st Airborne Division. For more information about Eastern Armored, visit www.easternarmored.com.