Neptune Township: Sheriff Shaun Golden continues to make the safety and security of children a top priority. On Feb. 12, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team specializing in explosive detection presented a training program during the Neptune Township School District’s Annual School Safety Working Group, where a tabletop was held on bomb threats.
“One of the first specialty units called to the scene of a bomb threat are usually highly trained K-9 teams,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “Through scent detection of an explosive, they help expedite a proper emergency response or prevent unwarranted shut downs when it’s determined there is no threat.”
The training exercise was held at Neptune High School and attended by Neptune Township school officials, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Management and members of the Neptune Township Police Department. Sheriff’s Officer James Fay discussed the history and nature of school bomb threats, how they are received, responded to and investigated, how to work in a unified command structure and threat assessments. He also addressed protective counter measures, full or partial school evacuations, suspicious packages and explosive devices and crime scene investigations. S/O Fay concluded the presentation with a demo from K-9 Falco.
In 2014 the sheriff’s office K9 Unit was utilized 113 times for explosive detection in Monmouth County.
“Our explosive detection teams are an extremely effective measure in providing a fast and specialized response to a potentially dangerous situation,” said S/O James Fay. ‘They take their jobs seriously and help strengthen homeland security efforts.”
According to the National School Safety and Security Services, a 2013-14 school year study of more than 300 violent threats to schools, found that more than 1/3 were delivered by social media and other electronic forms.
“Having these types of working groups are extremely essential in this day and age since technology and social media increases access to how fast threats are delivered and spread,” said David Mooij, Superintendent, Neptune Township School District. “In addition to emergency response measures, protocols and communications plans must be put in place.”
“We need to remain vigilant on how to deal with bomb threats. Planning and preparing ahead of time on how to respond will help maintain public safety in our communities,” said Michael Bascom, Neptune Township Police Director. “I’m grateful members of law enforcement and the Neptune Township School District have taken such a proactive approach through this program.”
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit presently consists of seven sheriff’s officers/K-9 handlers and dogs which include one tracking team, one narcotics team, two explosive detection teams, one explosive/ patrol, one patrol and one narcotics/ patrol team. The unit undergoes rigorous ongoing training programs to maintain proficiency in basic skills and ensure continued effective performance in the field.