Following the stabbing of a caseworker in November, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has moved to improve the safety of its workers.

The stabbing at a Camden child protection office occurred after the Christie administration pulled police officers to save on overtime.

Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake says armed guards with metal detecting wands are now at every child protection office.

“We also created an internal work group to review safety training and field safety protocols and practices. The work group made several recommendations including offering voluntary self-defense courses designed for social workers and providing emergency alert devices.”

Assemblyman Troy Singleton asked Blake if safety in those offices should have been a higher priority.

"So that there was a more secure feeling for your workforce there, an armed presence, you don't think that was appropriate to have prior to this incident?

Blake gave a guarded response to that.

“There's litigation now on this matter and there are some questions that I've been advised by counsel that I really can't discuss."

Blake told the Assembly Budget Committee police from the Department of Human Services will accompany her staff when they're meeting with someone who may pose a risk.


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