Governor Christie Not Crazy About Armed Cops in Schools – What Say You? [POLL]
Do you want armed resource officers in your local school?
The Governor doesn’t think it’s a good idea, and has said as much on the last edition of “Ask the Governor”.
However he leaves it up to the individual districts to decide how to best protect students against a possible intrusion like the one that happened in Newtown last December.
One district in particular, Bridgewater, is bringing on board a second armed police officer at the district’s expense.
The Bridgewater Township Council last week approved a measure to provide a second armed School Resource Officer at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, with the school district picking up the tab.
Bridgewater's stance is similar to one recently taken in Westfeld, which Christie opposed on a recent "Ask The Governor" show.
"I don't think that we need to have armed police officers in schools, and I don't think it's a great atmosphere for children, to see an armed person walking around the school," Christie said on the show.
Christie said he respects towns' rights to decide what's best for their schools, and wouldn't suggest banning the officers.
"But if you're asking me, as a former law enforcement guy, do I think it's necessary? I do not think it's necessary," Christie said.
Councilman Felipe Pedroso said he was aware of the governor's comments before the meeting and brought them up at the meeting. He confirmed that both school resource officers will be working for, and under the direction of, Bridgewater Police, and will be armed with full police officer rights.
"I agree with the general philosophical idea that schools should not be armed campgrounds," Pedroso said. "The governor has a tremendous amount of experience in law enforcement, and I do believe that in general he is correct. However, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School has special considerations."
"The Bridgewater-Raritan High School campus is an open facility where students have to transverse from building to building to get to their classes," Pedroso said. "This open campus environment certainly exposes the school to unique vulnerabilities."
"Having a second school resource officer at a high school with 2,900 students and 11 separate buildings is much needed,", said Tuesday. "I'm pleased the board and township are entering in a partnership with this position."
Superintendent (Michael) Schilder said that the resource officers bring specialized training and the ability to connect with students on a wide variety of issues on a daily basis.
"It is more about this training than it is about the gun," Schilder said. "Students have always been very comfortable with an (officer) on campus."
But the question is, does the gun necessarily make the environment safer?
Someone hell bent on creating the kind of massacre Adam Lanza committed back in December isn’t going to worry about the presence of guns greeting him at the schoolhouse door.
However I believe the gun would stop someone like him a lot sooner than if there were an unarmed officer.
Yet the quandary exists in that, I still believe, that a school isn’t the right environment for someone to be walking around with a gun.
Schools and guns should be mutually exclusive entities.
I say “should be!”
I think the reality of what happened last December changed our collective perspective on that!