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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."

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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