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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1999202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Departments of Justice and Education today announced the joint release of a guide that will help school and law enforcement officials assess security needs and consider the type of security equipment most appropriate to make their schools safer.

The handbook, "The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools," was produced collaboratively by the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Education Department's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, and Sandia National Laboratories--a component of the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Identifying innovative and proven methods of keeping the nation's schools safer is one of the single most important issues facing our country today," said NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. "This guide provides school and law enforcement officials with the information they need to develop strategies customized to their specific school safety issues."

"School systems nationwide are engaging in a variety of activities and actions to help ensure that students, teachers, and staff attend schools that are safe, disciplined, and drug-free," said Bill Modzeleski, Director of the Education Department's Safe and Drug-Free Schools program. "We are committed to ensuring that this document reaches those individuals working

In addition, NIJ is making 7 grants totaling approximately $1.3 million to develop new or improved technologies to create safer and more secure schools. These grants include two initiatives that will develop and test geographic information systems to help law enforcement and school officials determine where and when crime occurs on school grounds and on school transportation routes. One of these grants is a partnership between the Police Foundation and Jersey City, New Jersey; the other is being developed by Abt Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will be posted for downloading to a project Web site once completed. Another project, administered by the MEI Technology Company in Lexington, Massachusetts, will develop a CD-ROM that will simulate school safety problems and help school personnel to determine how to identify these problems and most effectively respond.

The other grants are being made to DynMeridian in Alexandria, Virginia, which will study the applicability of less-than-lethal weapons in schools; Language Systems, Incorporated, which will develop a voice-to-voice translation software that will translate English to Spanish or vice-versa; CHANG Industry, Inc., in La Verne, California, which will develop a low-cost personal distress device for school personnel that will identify the caller and pinpoint his or her location; and the Racine Unified School District in Racine, Wisconsin, which will install lock-down security management systems at the William Horlick and Garfield Schools, which will use proximity access cards to control and monitor school access.

NIJ, the Justice Department's primary research and evaluation arm, supports research, evaluation, and demonstration programs, the development of technology, and both national and international information dissemination. More information about NIJ and its programs is available at:

The Education Department's Safe & Drug-Free Schools program is the federal government's primary vehicle for reducing drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and violence, through education and prevention activities in our nation's schools. Additional information about the Safe & Drug-Free Schools program is available at:

The document is available on the Internet at It provides information on such technologies as, video surveillance, weapons detection, and entry control. The Internet version is divided by chapter to allow for downloading individual sections or the entire document.

Printed copies of the document will be available in early October. A limited number of the guides will be available in print, and most will be distributed to law enforcement and education officials. The Department of Education has agreed to produce and distribute copies of the document to school superintendents across the country.

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NIJ 99-174

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