Is Police Presence in Heights Schools the Best Form of Security? [POLL]
Heights police now regularly visit the school buildings during the day but the need for a full-time presence is something many parents would rather see. Meanwhile there are others who would be opposed. Weigh-in and take the poll.
Police officers on guard at schools is a measure many school districts, including Hasbrouck Heights, are considering as a way to enhance security and help parents, staff members and students feel safer in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
Currently Hasbrouck Heights police are required to stop into the school buildings to check in while on a patrol, a measure many other boroughs are starting to put in place as well.
Although the want and need for a fulltime officer at school buildings is shared by parents, staff members and officials, the ability to do so is a challenge in most towns due to lack of police manpower.
Nearby Lodi is considering something a little different - a plan to hire retired police officers to guard its borough schools, according to NorthJersey.com.
The retired officers would be plain-clothed but would carry guns, the report says. NorthJersey reports Lodi is putting aside $225,000 to hire five retired officers.
Members of a newly formed Hasbrouck Heights Parents for Safe Schools group stressed the need for full-time police presence at a recent Board of Education meeting. One parent said telling his 6-year-old daughter he would do all he could to try to get an officer in her school building was the only thing that made her feel better after learning about the Sandy Hook tragedy.
There are others that feel differently however. A panel made up of school officials and law enforcement from parts of Bergen County oppose the idea of armed guards favoring security cameras and unarmed guards at schools as a better option.
Hasbrouck Heights parents will be learning more in the coming weeks about what other measures and improvements may be implimented to enhance security and a community forum on the subject is expected to be organized in the near future.
School officials said they expect to receive the results of a security assessment this week and will soon after start putting advised security measures in place.
Meanwhile we ask readers do you believe police officers on guard at school buildings is the best form of protection?
Sound off in the comments or take our poll.