While Republican Mayor and Superintendent Robert Peers agree on the need to provide security, they have differing opinions on how to do it. Beers prefers to appoint two resource officers, four retired law enforcement officers, and up to three third-tier police officers for the new school year.
Moench and Beers ended the school year at odds over school security and less than a month before the start of the new school year, they finished where they left off.
In a letter to the Board of Education, Munch said the community had a “justified emotional conversation” about the safety and security of the school. He is willing to work with Beers and the board of directors to find common ground for a compromise. But the mayor seems to be digging in his heels and doing so in public.
Munch says in the letter.
Beers told TAP Into The Breeze he was “surprised” that Moench would announce details of the plan and would only heighten anxiety for students, staff and parents.
“As long as I am the superintendent of schools, I will not negotiate school security through Facebook, Twitter and the like,” he told TAP Into the Breeze.
Beers has criticized Munch for practicing politics and trying to serve as mayor, police chief, and school superintendent.
On Friday afternoon, Beers did not respond to NJ’s 101.5 request for comment.
The mayor said that under his plan, the officers would be accountable to the chief of police and had a moral and legal duty to protect human life that non-police officers could match.
“Armed private security personnel – no matter how well trained or qualified – lack the same legal duties and protections as sworn law enforcement officers; thus, they cannot be tasked with the safety of our children in a life-or-death emergency,” the letter says.
Under the borough plan, the district will pay $265,870 to the municipality while the borough will spend more than $1 million.
Munch said the area’s plan would cost more than $500,000 a year to “special security forces” who still had to call the town’s police for help.
The next meeting of the Board of Education is August 30th. No agenda has yet been published.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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