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Cops in Schools Could Cost $355K Annually if Adopted in Marlboro

The Township Council approved the hiring of special officers to supplement the 90-day cops in schools program.

A public hearing garnered no responses at last week's Town Council meeting, as the council unanimously approved hiring 12 new special officers for the temporary cops in schools program in Marlboro.

The temporary security program, which is at an estimated cost of $105,000 for 90 days, puts one officer in each Marlboro Township school for the duration of a school day. The move was a response to the tragic shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Councilwoman Carol Mazzola said the program as it stands is costing 1/7 of one cent per person in township taxes to the district and municipality.

"I think that's a very small price to pay to protecr our children and for parents to have peace of mind when they send their children off to school."

If adopted permanently, having one officer per each school would cost anywhere between $305,000 and $355,000 annually. 

If the Board of Education decides to keep officers in schools, a budget referendum may be up to the voters to decide on.

During the 90 day program, which was approved and launched in January, the district and the Marlboro Police Department as well as a third party security team will assess the district's current security measures and offer a long term plan.

According to Police Chief Bruce Hall, the 12 come from surrounding towns such as Freehold and Howell, as well as some retired Marlboro officers.

"These retired officers are highly trained and possess the necessary skill sets to perform the task assigned as a Class II Special Officer in our K-8 schools," Hall said in an email to Patch in January.

Hall said in the Feb. 7 council meeting that while the number of new officers is higher than he'd like it to be, it's necessary to keep the hours per officer down.

Currently, off-duty officers are volunteering for positions in the schools. No police officers have been taken off the road for the program, and there are no plans to do so in the future.

anonymous February 12, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Double-dipping is not illegal. However, when fraud is utilized to permit double-dipping (like whats mentioned in the below listed hyperlink), then it is illegal. Furthermore, I don't believe "specials" is a New Jersey covered pension position; therefore, there should be no problem with this. http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/14/11690662-gov-christies-pension-issue-nj-probe-looks-at-running-mate-double-dipping
Michael Mirkin February 12, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I think that whether it is legal or not b/c of loopholes is irrelevant. What is relevant whether or not these are covered positions or not. My opinion is that if you carry a gun and a badge employed by a public entity like the BOE and have arrest powers and are collaed a police officer you are a police officer! if it quacks like a duuck its a duck!
cynicinmarlboro February 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM
It seems the decision has already been made. These new cops will be hired by the police dept. as the council gave their approval (with this range of expense rather than an actual, definitive cost), whether or not the BOE will opt for this. You can bet the mayor will make sure it happens one way or the other. In either case we, the taxpayers, will be footing the bill. Still seems a little premature to approve this in town council when the board itself has not made a decision on the next step.
Steve R February 13, 2013 at 01:28 PM
What I find interesting is that there is no one in group doing the assessment who previous to the assessment was against cops in the schools. They gathered a bunch of political cronies who are in favor of the measure to begin with and prance it around as an impartial assessment. Also my quick math has these special officers total comp being around $27 per hour, seems mighty low. The mayor is going to get this through because it helps his political career, no other reason. Having the police department hire officers for a measure that is not even passed makes me believe there are more under the table dealings here than meets the eye
Steve R February 13, 2013 at 01:34 PM
I am glad you do but there are others who don't. Do you not feel it should be put to a vote? Or is that not necessary because you agree with it? I also wonder what doing a fantastic job constitutes? I personally find it difficult to measure since their job is security and the level of security breaches are the same since before they were placed in the schools. How to you reach such a conclusion on effectiveness?

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