FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: John Nalbone
Office of Communications & Public Information
(609) 259-3600 Ext. 129
Robbinsville Township Police Officers Will Be Assigned to
Pond Road Middle School and Sharon Elementary School
Township, School District Enter Agreement in Principle to Boost Campus Security
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (March 1, 2018) – Robbinsville Township Mayor and Director of Public Safety Dave Fried announced during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that two additional full-time School Resource Officers (SRO) will be assigned to boost security at both Pond Road Middle School and Sharon Elementary School. Officer Edward Vincent (pictured) has been assigned to Robbinsville High School since 2013 and last fall was joined by K9 partner “Rigo,” who is trained in explosives and human tracking.
The Shared Services Agreement in principle that will place an SRO at each of Robbinsville’s three schools will begin in September, 2018 and is in direct response to the tragic spike in school shootings across the nation. In the interim, Robbinsville Township police have increased patrols at all Robbinsville school campuses.
“Schools should be sanctuaries and a safe haven for our children,” Mayor Fried said. “Our hearts go out to each and every victim and the survivors of these senseless acts of violence across the nation, and we are determined to not let their deaths, or the continued efforts of those survivors, be in vain. Having a resource officer in all three schools, along with added security measures already in place that you likely will not even recognize, will go a long way toward keeping our kids and school personnel safe. We also feel these proactive steps honor both the victims and survivors of these horrific incidents.”
The Robbinsville Board of Education unanimously backs the measure with the full support of Schools Superintendent Kathie Foster.
“While there are no fail-safe solutions to completely eliminate the threat of an active shooter incident, the Robbinsville School District, Mayor Fried and our outstanding police department are 100 percent committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to keep our children and our staff safe,” Superintendent Kathie Foster said.
The presence of full-time SROs in each of the Township’s three schools is a welcome addition to added security apparatus already in place, which includes RPD-monitored cameras and K9 “Rigo.”
“The two things that keep me up at night are the opioid epidemic and the increase in school violence,” Police Chief Chris Nitti said. “Each day is a challenge, but we have been proactive in our approach to dealing with both. The Robbinsville Police Department, Mayor Fried, Township Council and the school district all recognize these tragedies do not occur only at the high school level, which is why assigning a resource officer to Pond Road and Sharon School has to be our next, vital step. None of us will ever be complacent in our approach to safety.”
Township officials and the district’s board and leadership team firmly believe maintaining strong security measures is a collective effort that involves the police, district staff, parents and students.
“Our message remains clear: If you see something, say something. This is not a cliché,” said Robbinsville BOE president Rich Young. "If you become aware of someone who may pose a threat to our students, staff or facilities, please notify Robbinsville PD or our school leaders immediately. One call truly can make a difference.”