Upper Freehold Regional seeks to continue agreement with sheriff’s office

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The Upper Freehold Regional School District Board of Education has authorized a shared services agreement with Monmouth County to outline payments that involve police services.

On Feb. 19, board members approved the agreement among the school district, Upper Freehold Township, Allentown and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the authority of the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders.

The agreement will be in effect from Sept. 1, 2020 through Sept. 1, 2023.

Superintendent of Schools Mark Guterl explained to board members that the purpose of the agreement is to outline the district’s payments to the sheriff’s office for services provided and to ensure the payments are consistent with what other entities are paying, such as the municipalities of Upper Freehold and Allentown.

“We want to make certain we are paying our fair share,” Guterl said.

In 2018, personnel from the sheriff’s office began providing daily security at the two campuses operated by the Upper Freehold Regional School District: the Stone Bridge Middle School in Upper Freehold Township and the Newell Elementary School-Allentown High School campus in Allentown.

As previously reported, a total of four sheriff’s officers are assigned to the school district. Two sheriff’s officers are on duty each day (one at each campus) and two sheriff’s officers work in the school district if and/or when one of the two permanently assigned sheriff’s officers are sick or on vacation.

Guterl said the new three-year agreement would be reviewed by legal counsel representing the sheriff’s office. The agreement will be finalized after attorneys representing all of the parties involved in the matter have the opportunity to amend any language as necessary.

School district administrators did not provide financial details of the agreement with the county.

Allentown and Upper Freehold Township are the two municipalities that make up the regional school district. Children of high school age who live in Millstone Township attend Allentown High School through a send-receive relationship between the Millstone Township K-8 School District and the Upper Freehold Regional School District.