ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district says it has hired armed security guards to staff its three schools starting this week.

Cherry Hill Police Begin Full-Time Patrol Of Schools

In an email sent to parents Friday, Pen Argyl Superintendent William Haberl says the armed guards will be stationed at the district’s elementary, middle and high school starting Monday.

Murphy Calls For Review Of School-Shooting Protocols In New Jersey 

The district hired the officers from the private firm Camelot Security, which it has used in the past for school events such as dances and athletic games. The firm says its officers include high level law enforcement and surveillance specialists.

Haberl says in the letter the district was prompted by the “sad and painful reality” of shootings in schools. He has not responded to requests seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)