Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Wednesday a bill requiring the New Jersey’s public schools to install so-called panic alarms.
It’s being called Alyssa’s Law after 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, a New Jersey native from Woodcliff Lake, Bergen County, who died in the fatal high school shooting a year ago in Parkland, Florida.
“Alyssa’s death is a stark reminder of the dangers of gun violence and the need for adequate school security measures,” said Murphy, a Democrat. “In New Jersey, we will do everything in our power to prevent these tragedies from occurring within our borders.”
The legislation requires the state’s roughly 2,500 public schools to install silent alarms that communicate life-threatening or emergency situations to law enforcement.
Legislative fiscal estimates said the project could cost between $2.5 million and $12.5 million. The bill calls for tapping into $500 million in voter-approved bond funding as a source of revenue for the project.
Man charged with sex assault of ‘helpless’ woman on train: Officials say a man has been charged with sexually assaulting a “helpless” woman on a train traveling between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said 45-year-old Charles Arcano, of Voorhees, is accused of assaulting a 22-year-old woman on the PATCO Speedline train in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 27.
The assault was captured on video.
A criminal complaint alleges Arcano “knew or should have known the victim to be physically helpless or incapacitated.”
Investigators previously had released surveillance video from a station to help identify a suspect.
Arcano was arrested Tuesday in south Philadelphia and will be extradited to Camden.
He is charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and criminal restraint.
A message seeking comment with the public defender’s office, which is representing him in Philadelphia, wasn’t returned.
Bus driver charged after watching porn on phone in front of students: A school bus driver in New Jersey allegedly watched pornography on his cellphone in front of young students.
State Police said Franck Lafortune was spotted watching the video before he dropped off students at the Indian Mills Elementary School in Shamong Township on Monday morning. Officials said two students told their parents what they saw as the bus was parked.
The 64-year-old Burlington Township resident was charged with obscenity to minors. Superintendent Christine Vespe said the bus driver has been suspended by his employer and will no longer work the district’s bus routes. Lafortune was released pending a court appearance. It wasn’t known Wednesday if he has retained an attorney.“We must do everything in our power to ensure the safety of our children and their teachers. Gun violence is a public health crisis which has effected the security of our communities for far too long,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex. “When we drop our children off at school we should be confident that they are safe from harm. This law is a proactive way of making our schools better protected against the threat of violence.”