Armed Officers Stand Guard In Marlboro Schools [POLL/AUDIO]
Ever since the December 14th tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the issue over safety in schools around the nation has heated up.
There are new debates over gun control, mental health and whether or not the brutal massacre of 20 children and 6 adults could have been prevented.
Many districts in New Jersey have been hard at work ironing out new security measures and working to ensure safety of all students and staff in pre, elementary, middle, high schools and colleges. So far, one district is taking some new steps that have led to mixed feelings and raised some eyebrows.
Beginning today, each of the nine schools in the Marlboro School District will have one armed, fully trained and uniformed police officer on site.
The officer will have full access to surveillance cameras both inside and outside the building, a direct connection to school administrators and staff and contact with other police units and the department. In an exclusive interview with Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, he tells Townsquare Media the decision was a collective one from his office, the police department and the board of education.
This is a First Step, Mayor Says
Hornik says, "we are not yet equipped for a situation like Newtown. We have gotta do something to protect our children. I won't sit by and let something like this happen again. These are measures that should be in place in all schools as a precaution. This is our first step."
The Township Council, along with the board of ed, are working on plans for shatterproof glass, steel doors, better surveillance systems and increased communication between law enforcement and school administrators. They are also looking at plans to bring in a third party vendor to conduct a full security assessment.
Hornik is very clear in the fact that this isn't a political move.
He says, "this has nothing to do with the gun control debate and it has nothing to do with the NRA's recent suggestion to allow guns in schools for protection. This is about safety - first and foremost. I am a father of three kids and I am just as worried as other parents out there."
Hornik adds, "this isn't a luxury item. This is a necessity, based on what we saw happen in Connecticut." Also for full disclosure, Hornik is a Democrat who supports an assault-weapons ban and stricter gun control.