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Security Plans Open to Public

Right now with the right paperwork, anyone has access to school security plans. But the governor wants to keep them a secret. Since 2001 security plans for schools, courthouses, hospitals, and power plants have not been open to the public. But those protections expired at the beginning of the year.It was up to the general assembly to get this passed last session, but Governor Nixon said it wasn’t high on his priority list either. He says he assumed lawmakers passed it last year, but never took the initiative to make sure that happened. But with the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut, he says this needs to be a top priority.At the beginning of this week, the law prevented anyone from getting security details for some of the most important buildings and facilities in the state. Now anybody can get access to things like emergency evacuation routes or even campus wide lock downs. The governor says this type of information could prove to be extremely dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.”Now is not the time to undermine the shared efforts of school officials, law enforcement, fire personnel, or first responders to enhance our readiness over the past decade by weakened laws,” Nixon says.The governor wouldn’t answer ABC 17 News when we questioned him if students in schools were in danger right now. He only said that lawmakers need to move quickly when they get back to the capitol next week.School safety officials agree with the governor because there are not many things protecting the plans from someone who wants to do harm. “Right now there’s nobody that has asked for those plans and there’s a period of time that a school’s allowed to put together a response to that,” adviser for the Missouri School Board Association for Center for Education Safety Paul Fennewald explains.Safety officials tell us there is not an immediate danger, but if lawmakers don’t pass something quickly it could present an opportunity for someone to get the plans. Nixon tells us he let it go to the back burner and now it has his full attention.”I didn’t put a tremendous amount of attention because there wasn’t a great deal of consternation on it, it’s a system that had matured and was working,” Nixon says.Nixon hopes to get a bill on his desk as soon as possible and hopes to get an emergency clause put on it. The General Assembly begins next Wednesday.

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