Armed Police Officers Now On Duty In Berkeley Township School District

Money for officers comes from new paid pre-school program

Each of the four elementary schools in the Berkeley Township school district now has a police officer in uniform on duty during school hours, Schools Superintendent James D. Roselli said.

The officers began last week, after the district entered into a shared services agreement with Berkeley Township and the Berkeley Township police department "...to provide a uniformed police presence in each of our schools," Roselli said in a Feb. 5 letter to parents posted on the district's website.

The Berkeley Board of Education unanimously approved the arrangement at the Jan. 24 board meeting.

The agreement was a result of the newly-created school safety council consisting of parents, staff, township police and fire personnel and the Board of Education's school safety committee.

The district's administrative staff will continue to attend school safety meetings throughout the state and explore "all avenues to provide a safe and secure environment for our schools," Roselli said in the letter.

The revenue raised by the district's expansion of the extended preschool program will offset the increased costs of police officers at each school, Board President James Fulcomer said.

"We are determined to make sure that our children and staff are as safe as possible from people who would, if given the opportunity, do them harm," Fulcomer said.

The board also recently authorized school Business Administrator Laura Venter to draw up a contract with SERAPH - a criminal analysis and school security firm - to conduct a federal level security management audit for the district, he said.

"This audit should lead to greater safety in our schools," Fulcomer said.

Roughly 600 parents responded a schools safety survey offered after the Newtown, CT school shootings. Seventy-four percent of those who took the survey were in favor of "an active police officer in schools," Roselli said in the letter.

Central Regional school district officials announced in January that both the high school and middle school would have a police officer stationed in each school, rather than just sharing one officer.

The two officers will be paid for with School Choice money, Central Regional Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides has said. The state selected Central as a "choice" district last year. Central takes in students from districts around Ocean County and is reimbursed $14,600 per student.

"The officers will be in the school during the school hours and follow the calendar year, but will be used in the community when school is not in session," Parlapanides said in January. "So Central is basically paying for two police officers in Berkeley."

SHARON HEBERT February 11, 2013 at 06:53 PM
let the parents do the watch on these children. The parents that are unemployed or stay home parents.. Put the money in the socker field, cut grass fix frence and clean up the area on the other side of town..how about that?/
Danielles February 11, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Sharon Herbert you obviously do not have children. Having an armed police officer is way different than having an unarmed parent! It's not watching the children it's making sure the scum with guns does not harm our children while they are trying to get an education!
Chief Wahoo February 11, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Hope they didnt hire Chris Dorner ......Who is watching the cops with the guns ????? The police are very thankful for you Foolish people
SHARON HEBERT February 11, 2013 at 08:35 PM
how is chris dorner ..??
gene smith February 11, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Such overkill. Waste of hard earned money. This would just push whatever crazy wanted to harm our kids (which has probably less than .001% chance of ever occurring) to the schoolyards, parks, bus stops, buses, neighborhoods...etc WHERE DOES THIS SECURITY BLANKET END?
dniece68 February 11, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Please....no one person will stop someone from killing.....what about on the play ground, bus and bus stops, through a window.....stop wasting money....help the parents who need help raising kids of trouble, give money to parents who can't afford mental health, etc...I am a parent of 2 children with mental illness but I had to fight my way to get help for them, and I still pay out of pockrt do keep health insurance out of mental health issues. parents need to be parents now their friends.....
needs some space February 11, 2013 at 10:40 PM
When did this become about your kids dniece?
Matthew Talty February 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Agreed. The money would be better spent providing conseling to those children with mental health issues rather than turning an institution of education into an armed camp. Not only is it counter productive it also provides a false sense of security to the parents, loved ones of the teachers, administrators and custodians and the community at large.
Matthew Talty February 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM
She's making a point that the additional resources would be better suited to help those in need. After all, haven't all the school shootings been committed by individuals who were mentally unstable?
Christine Dwight February 11, 2013 at 11:43 PM
So if something ever happened then it would be a shame that the board of ed didn't spend the money right?? Darned if you do darned if you don't
Bayville Mom February 12, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Sharon - I am a stay at home mom and I also have a child that I pay to send to Berkeley's pre-school program. I do not think I am a good alternative to an trained police officer. I am not equipped to unarm anyone. When it's you dollar you can send it where ever you would like. I am glad that my kids AND their teachers will be protected. In addition, I am busy trying to rebuild our lives and fight my way through red tape since our house was substantially damaged by Sandy. Thanks though for trying to add to my to-do list!!
gene smith February 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM
the town should put it to a vote, put it on a ballot and let's see what happens.
George February 12, 2013 at 04:25 AM
George February 12, 2013 at 04:31 AM
George February 12, 2013 at 04:34 AM
how is chris dorner ..??.......................Your are not serious right?
George February 12, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Eagleguy is correct. Attempt to keep all safe and CYA.
SHARON HEBERT February 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM
lets keep the stay at home parents with there child. we dont need to be armed..WE HAVE COPS IN SCHOOL ALREADY PEOPLE.. now lets get to the money part..bayville has extra money..well how about giving some to the woman that has a bucket list with her home..o ya my home i repair with my money..ok to the point.let the unemployeed and stay at home parents work on the buses and in schools..k good now spend the EXTRA MONEY bayville has on cleaning up this town..k good
George February 12, 2013 at 03:00 PM
lisa February 12, 2013 at 05:02 PM
It seems Sharon has a problem with stay at home parents? My husband works very hard to provide enough so that one of us is home as much as possible with our children. We are not rich or privileged... we worked hard and planned our lives accordingly and yes fortunate that we did not receive any damage from Sandy other than our fence. This, does not however, mean stay at home parents become the school security guard, or free bus aid, or anything else like that. We are not "unemployed" - we live a modest lifestyle and live this way as a choice. I also wouldn't want an unemployed person doing any of this. People taking on this task should be properly trained - until they find another way to make the schools as safe as possible (perhaps there are other avenues) - I don't blame them - as said above - if they didn't, and something happened, they would sure be in a lot of trouble and then they would here "you should have..." - as always - damned if you do, damned if you don't - but don't expect a stay at home mom to become a school security guard - we are not trained and that is not why we are stay at home moms.
lisa February 12, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Bayville mom - I agree with you - and hope all works out well with the Sandy stuff - I have friends trying to get through this too - it is not a pretty situation. I agree - you have enough on your plate - why should you have to take on additional unpaid responsibility. That, after all, is not why you arranged your life to be a stay at home mom.
SHARON HEBERT February 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM
hmm , we have DETECTIVES IN THE SCHOOLS ALREADY..See some dont go to town meetings??? Next meeting is soon we all should go..then have this conversation..k
Berkeley Resident! and Proud! February 13, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Prior to this event we had ONE officer that split time at our elementary schools and A detective assigned to ALL of our schools if needed. That's it. I don't know where you people are getting your info from. I don't have kids in the school system but I'm surely glad Berkeley is taking the right steps to keeping our community safe.
Bayville Mom February 13, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Again Sharon. I do not have the TIME it requires to make yoru unrealistic dreams come true. I am not asking the town for money for my home or my kids. Don't volunteer MY time. The unemployed need to look for jobs so that they can take care of their families, not take other people out of their jobs. HMM..Let's fire all the transportation employees and screw them so we can save money to clean the town??? Bet that sounded better in your head than it did on paper.
Bayville Mom February 13, 2013 at 04:46 PM
LOL George! BTW I know I spelled your wrong...LOL!
SHARON HEBERT February 26, 2013 at 09:34 PM
We have 14,ooo extra realy per student . Well Berkeley then the one or two detectives are not needed in the school,your hiring cops. Now the money, need to clean up the other side of town . When will this start , with the cops being hired. So we can let go of the 1, or 2 detectives. Can we do a SS# CK on all employees. To see how many get 2 ck;s for one job. And with this extra money , can we lower our taxes. Can we have a meeting on this exra money and a full report on where money is being spent. DONE
Southbound March 07, 2013 at 08:12 PM
I agree with Sharon. Get rid of the bus drivers too. And let's not forget stokes. That's BS too ! ! !


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