CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — Cherry Hill Township police are now assigned full-time to patrol all schools, as of Monday. This comes after students and parents expressed worries about security, following the deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn knew they had to do something sooner rather than later, after students recently staged a walkout at Cherry Hill High School East, and they and their parents had followup meetings with school officials.
“We’ve always said our schools are very, very safe. But, certainly what’s happened over the past few weeks, and hearing from students and parents, we felt this is the right move to make our schools even safer,” said Cahn.
The township will pick up the costs of detailing armed police officers to the district’s 19 schools through the end of of school year in June, after which the school board will figure out how to fund security.
“We budget annually for police overtime, and we’ll use that allocation wisely,” said Cahn.
Cahn expects an officer to be dedicated to each of the two high schools, all middle schools, and then, officers will be tactically rotated at elementary schools.
Cahn also points out school officials will decide whether four unarmed school police officers, all of whom are retired police officers, should carry their handguns at Cherry Hill High Schools East and West.
“The only difference is that the school policy is such that they are not allowed to carry weapons. We are asking school officials to change that policy,” said Cahn.
The Board of Education will discuss the enhanced security measures Tuesday a 7 p.m. at Cherry Hill High School West.
More security protocols also will be put in place for people entering the schools, including presenting photo IDs, and for parents and guardians, showing their child’s student ID number.