TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Schools in New Jersey will now be subject to surprise security inspections by the state in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.

The Education Department’s Preparedness and Emergency Planning Office wants to ensure schools can conduct lockdown drills.

The state requires schools to hold a lockdown drill as well as a shooting drill twice per year.

“This is something that the governor’s school safety task force has been talking about since we started doing these announced visits in 2010,” state Education Department spokesperson Barbara Morgan told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Security teams will run through a 10-point checklist when checking out schools and evaluating drills, CBS 2 reported.

Administrators will also receive additional safety training.

The unannounced visits will begin later this month.

Police officers were stationed at some schools in New Jersey after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December.

But some want to do more than add the drills.

“Connecticut also had very strong security. So, after the Newtown tragedy, there are a lot of questions out there about what should we also consider,” said Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

So, they will be holding a forum on school safety this Thursday at the College of New Jersey in Ewing.

LINK: Sign Up For The Forum

He said their morning forum on safe schools will discuss what campuses can do and will look at state security procedures.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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