Marlboro Township’s K-8 schools now have armed and uniformed police officers present at all times during school hours under an agreement between the Township and Board of Education that was approved by the Board last night, Mayor Jonathan Hornik announced.
“I am pleased that the Board of Education has supported our initiative to station Marlboro police officers in each of our schools. While it is not a solution to the gun debate, it will keep our children and educators safe. As Mayor, I have no more fundamental responsibility than keeping our children and educators safe,” Mayor Hornik said, “Recently in Maryland, a School Resource Officer (SRO), a trained and armed Police Officer, engaged and pursued the shooter and, by all accounts, prevented this incident from being a far greater tragedy. While it would be nice to pretend that that we did not live in a society that requires armed police officers in our schools it is not the reality.”
Hornik acknowledged the K-8 Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Eric Hibbs, Police Chief Bruce Hall, and the members of PBA local 196 under the leadership of President Kenny Marrone for working together cooperatively to ensure the safety of all Marlboro student and educators.
Under the agreement, the police officers agreed to discount their hourly rate for security work by 31% from $87.50 per hour to $60 per hour. The Township normally collects $9 per hour of those fees, which Hornik said is being waived, making the effective cost $51 per hour to have armed and uniformed officers in each of the eight schools. The Board of Education appropriated $183,000 to cover that cost for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year.
For the 2018-2019 school year which starts in September, the Township is hiring up to 10 Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers. Class III Officers are recently retired police officers with jurisdiction only on school property and who are under the command of the local police department.
“The Board of Education and Township have worked closely over the years on school safety initiates. The School Board has hired security guards, and
invested in surveillance cameras and other physical safety upgrades at each facility,” Mayor Hornik stated. “For many years, Marlboro Schools have had police officers in our schools who rotated through each of the eight schools throughout the week. In recent months, Marlboro Division of Police has stepped up its program of school safety checks, increased presence during arrival and departures and random visits throughout the school day. As public officials, we remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of Marlboro’s school kids. The time has now come to dedicate qualified and trained armed officers to each school for the entire school day.”