MARLBORO – Municipal officials and administrators in two local school districts have agreed to keep police officers in Marlboro’s schools during the 2022-23 school year.
During the May 19 meeting of the Township Council, members of the governing body passed four resolutions dealing with two separate school districts.
Currently, the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education, the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education and the township are each paying 50% for the cost of school resource officers and school security officers in Marlboro’s K-8 schools and in Marlboro High School. The costs associated with the officers could not immediately be determined.
The resolutions the council members passed are as follows:
• The council renewed a shared service agreement with the Marlboro Board of Education to provide for school resource officers for 2022-23;
• The council renewed a shared service agreement with the Marlboro Board of Education to provide for school security officers for 2022-23;
• The council renewed a shared service agreement with the FRHSD Board of Education to provide for school resource officers at the high school for 2022-23;
• The council renewed a shared service agreement with the FRHSD Board of Education to provide for school security officers at the high school for 2022-23.
Municipal officials said, “The township and (both school boards) are partners in providing for school resource officers and school security officers, and acknowledge that these officers have been a constructive and valuable presence in the schools.”
A school resource officer acts as a liaison with school officials, conducts school programs and lessons, investigates incidents in the school and assists patrol officers and detectives with juvenile matters, according to the Marlboro Police Department.
A school security officer, also referred to as a Class III police officer, is a retired law enforcement officer who provides security to students, staff members and visitors in a school. A school security officer arrives before students enter the school and leaves after the last student departs for the day.
According to police, school resource officers and school security officers are trained and qualified to carry weapons and are armed while on duty.
During the council meeting when the resolutions were before the governing body, Mayor Jonathan Hornik said that after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in 2012, municipal officials wanted to ensure the safety of students and staff in all of Marlboro’s schools.
He said the township and the two school boards subsequently agreed to share the cost of the police officers who would be stationed in each building.
“There is not a program I agree with more than this one,” Hornik said.
As the resolutions were being considered by the governing body, council Vice President Antoinette Dinuzzo suggested that township officials may want to ask both boards of education to fully fund the costs associated with placing police officers in the schools.
Hornik told Dinuzzo it was too late to change the shared service agreements for the 2022-23 school year.
The mayor said Dinuzzo could approach the Marlboro school board and the Freehold Regional school board to discuss her thought about each school district fully funding the cost of the police officers if she chose to do so, looking ahead to future school years.