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Community Safety Symposium Set For March 21

The township community is invited to attend a Community Safety Symposium set for 7 p.m. March 21 at Franklin Middle School, 415 Francis St.

Coordinating the symposium, which will be held in the school’s cafeteria, are Board of Education president Nancy LaCorte and township Mayor Philip Kramer. Also participating will be representatives of the township Police Department, Township Council members and other community leaders, according to a press release about the event.

Kramer said the idea for the gathering was first suggested to LaCorte by PJ Parker, co-publisher of the Franklin Reporter & Advocate.

LaCorte and Kramer spoke after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., in which 17 students and faculty were killed, “and she related to me that PJ Parker of the Franklin Reporter had wondered if some type of town hall meeting would be appropriate,” Kramer said in an interview. “Board president LaCorte indicated that she thought it was a good idea, and thought that bringing in more than just school and police was important, she wanted to bring in the other schools in town, as well as the churches. I agreed and we began to work on arranging the meeting.”

“I thought it was a good idea,” Kramer said. “I also got the input of other council members.”

“The evening will be an opportunity for our community members, whether they are parents, business owners, religious organization members or residents to voice their concerns about safety issues in our township,” Kramer said in the press release.

“In light of the recent school shooting in Florida and threats received in school districts throughout New Jersey, we thought it was important for our community members to have the opportunity to voice concerns and hear factual information from our Township leaders,” LaCorte, said in the release.

Other leaders invited to attend the event include schools Superintendent John A. Ravally; Orvyl Wilson, the district’s Director of School Management; Franklin Township Chief of  Police Richard A. Grammar; St. Mathias School Principal Eileen Brett; Rutgers Prep Headmaster Steven Loy; Cedar Hill Prep Principal Donald Seeley,  Central Jersey College Prep CEO Namik Sercan; Thomas Edison EnergySmart School School Leader Oguz Yildiz, and other members of the Town Council and Board of Education, according to the release.

“While we won’t be able to address specific incidents involving individual students, we see this as an opportunity to reassure our parents and other community members by listening to their concerns and highlighting some of our existing safety measures,” Ravally said in the release.

“Having this type of event, which includes the leaders of our schools, as well as members of the larger community, is important,” Grammar said in the release. “We will be most effective in keeping all of our children and residents safe if we work together.”

For more information about the event, contact the Franklin Township Police Department Lieutenant Philip J. Rizzo at (732) 873-7229.

 

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