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Marlboro Puts Armed Officers In Schools Starting Jan. 2

Funding and further security decisions fall under the Board of Education.

The Marlboro Police Department and the Board of Education announced on Thursday that all eight township schools will have armed officers present throughout school days.

Marlboro Township schools include one PreK, five elementary schools and two middle schools. Students enter high schools overseen by the Freehold Regional School District. 

The Marlboro Police officers will challenge each person entering the schools from the time the buses arrive until the students leave, Superintendent David Abbott said in a message posted on the schools website. 

"The protocols for these policemen are being written during the winter break with key input provided by police and school district administrators," said Board President Michael Lilonsky.

Officers will also have access to a digital monitor which will project images of the interior and exterior of schools.

Mayor Jon Hornik said the funding and decisions regarding school security are up to the Board of Education, but the mayor's office and the township council will have suggestions.

"It's going to be expensive," Hornik said. "But I think it's definitely worth paying."

As of now, township schools have two school resource officers. One officer floats among elementary schools and one around the two middle schools. Volunteer PTO members are also stationed at front doors to check visitors in.

"We are not yet equipped for a situation like Newtown," Hornik said. 

Police Capt. Bart Lombardo said reports have come from Newtown, CT that the gunman shattered a large window to gain access to the schools. The police department the board are currently looking into shatterproof glass for the schools, and are considering hiring a third party vendor to conduct a district security assessment.

Marlboro Township schools at the K-8 level are currently equipped with a Visitor Management System. The system is able to scan identification and check school visitors against the sex offender registry and school-created parent lists. It can also print visitor badges with photos.

"The tragedy last Friday changed the way we look at school security forever," Hornik said. 

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