School resource officers will be paid for by Jackson school board

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JACKSON – The township will furnish two fully trained school resource officers (SROs) to the Jackson School District Board of Education during the 2019-20 school year.

Township Council members passed a resolution on June 11 which put the shared services agreement with the school board in place for the upcoming school year.

According to the resolution, the board will pay for the SROs in the amount of $87,957.15 per SRO per school year, for a total of $175,914.30 for the 10-month school year beginning on Sept. 6, 2019, and ending on June 19, 2020.

According to the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) website, “an SRO is a specially-trained sworn police officer who is assigned full-time to protect the children, staff and property in New Jersey’s public schools. The mandatory training they receive ensures they are adequately prepared to face challenges that are unique to the school climate, and handle them appropriately.

“The NJSBA School Security Task Force, a group convened in March 2013 as a part of the NJSBA’s Safe and Secure Schools Project, in response to the deadly December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, studied all aspects of school security.

“In its 2014 final report, the task force stated that an SRO can provide a critical safety factor and valuable counseling and support services for students. Therefore, the employment of SROs is the ‘preferred’ model for a law enforcement presence in a school building,” according to the NJSBA.

In other business on June 11, council members passed a resolution supporting the acquisition of the 10-acre West Turkey Swamp-Neuwirth property at Cedar Swamp Road and Progress Place through the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund.

According to the resolution, the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust is interested in purchasing the property and has examined the parcel and supports the preservation of the land for open space.

Township Council members said in the resolution, “the governing body wishes to support the preservation of this property by Ocean County by offering its support to the county for its acquisition of the West Turkey Swamp-Neuwirth property.”

The council forwarded the resolution to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust program of the Ocean County Department of Planning and to the Ocean County Board of Freeholders.