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Governor forms group to review school safety

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Governor Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order today creating a study group to review and make recommendations for safety measures at the state's public and private pre-K and K-12 schools and colleges and universities. The group will be led by Colonel Michael Edmonson, Superintendent of State Police, and James LeBlanc, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

In addition to the Louisiana State Police and the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the group will include representatives from the Department of  Education, the Department of Health and Hospitals,  the Department of Children and Family Services, the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Regents, the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System.

Governor Jindal has charged the group with reviewing and assessing the state's current programs and plans in order to identify any necessary improvements or changes. 

Governor Jindal's Executive Order for School and Campus Safety

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. BJ 2013 – 1:  SCHOOL AND CAMPUS SAFETY

WHEREAS,              On December 21, 2012, Louisianians and our fellow Americans observed a moment of silence to remember and mourn the senseless tragedy that took the lives of 26 innocent children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut;

WHEREAS,              the Department of Education, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Regents, the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System provide for a safe learning environment for the children and young people attending schools and colleges of this State;

WHEREAS,              many others contribute to a safe learning environment for the children and young people attending schools and colleges of this State, including, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Department of Health and Hospitals, Department of Children and Family Services, Office of Juvenile Justice and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness;

WHEREAS,              Louisiana has already enacted Act 313 of the 2001 Regular Legislative Session mandating that all elementary and secondary public schools prepare, maintain and exercise a Crisis Management and Response Plan to ensure that every student, teacher and school employee has access to a safe, secure and orderly school that is conducive to learning;

WHEREAS,              when such a tragedy occurs it is imperative that those involved with school and campus safety for the more than 1,700 public and private schools, colleges and universities work collaboratively to re-examine the plans and measures in place to identify any areas needing improvement, incorporate new strategies and work together to exercise existing response plans;

WHEREAS,              efforts to prevent, respond and manage these violent crises must include collaboration amongst Louisiana's law enforcement of over 15,500 commissioned law enforcement officers from state, parish, local, university and tribal police officers; and the sharing of information though the Louisiana State Analytical Fusion Center (LA-SAFE) in order to identify threats, prevent acts of terrorism and promote deterrence by establishing situational awareness and assistance in disseminating accurate information to those agencies responsible for public safety;

WHEREAS,              continued partnerships between the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Sheriffs, Chiefs of Police, Attorney General and District Attorneys are paramount to effective prevention, response and prosecution of persons committing these violent assaults on our citizens; and communication and collaboration between law enforcement and local school boards to assist with planning and implementation of crisis response plans is crucial to the safety of students, faculty and staff in our schools;

WHEREAS,              Colonel Michael D. Edmonson, the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and the Superintendent of State Police, serves as the General Chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, State and Provincial Police Division, and can share communications, training and education efforts with law enforcement officials on a state, national and international level;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1:               The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Department of   Education, Department of Health and Hospitals, Department of Children and Family Services, Office of Juvenile Justice, Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Regents, the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana State University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College, the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Supervisors of the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System, to designate representatives with knowledge and expertise on this issue to participate in a study group co-chaired by Colonel Michael D. Edmonson, Superintendent of State Police, and James M. LeBlanc, Secretary of Department of Public Safety and Corrections. This study group shall collaboratively review and assess the State's current programs and plans in order to identify any necessary improvements or changes in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

SECTION 2:              The collaborative review and assessment of the State's current programs and plans should

A.        identify and implement improvements within the respective authority of each State agency,

B.        identify recommendations for changes or revisions requiring legislative action prior to the deadline for filing bills to be considered during the next regular session of the Legislature, and

C.        identify and disseminate recommendations for changes or revisions requiring local action to each State agency's local partners and interested stakeholders.

SECTION 3:              This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

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