The New Jersey mayor moving ahead with arming police officers in his township’s schools defended the decision Monday after an avalanche of responses, some of it critical.
Marlboro’s school resource officers will begin carrying unspecified types of firearms when classes resume for the Monmouth County town on Jan. 2. Until now, the officers had patrolled the schools without guns. They will be trained to work in a school environment and how to respond to emergency situations.
Hornik said the majority of the township of 40,200 residents supports his decision to beef up security.
“This is strictly a security matter to protect our 8,000 students,” said Hornik, who has three school-aged children. “My first choice is to get rid of all guns and all the bad people, but that’s not happening with a stroke of a pen.”
Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, said Friday that he doesn’t support deploying armed police officers across state schools.
Marlboro is also considering upping the number of school security cameras and other capital improvements that could increase safety. Hornik didn’t immediately know how much the extra policing will add to the township’s $80 million school budget, but said it wasn’t “prohibitively expensive.”