SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith at Tuesday's Township Council meeting discussed several initiatives to protect against potential threats to SPFK12 schools that will be implemented jointly with the Borough of Fanwood and the SPFK12 Board of Education. The measures include adding school resource officers in schools and limiting access into the buildings.

Mayor Smith said the initiatives will increase security to ensure that no one can just "walk in and out of" local schools.

"It’s a shame that in today’s world that we have to do this. It’s going to cost more," said Councilman John Del Sordi, who had called on the mayor to take the lead in improving school safety following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. "It will take more time to get in and out of schools, but it will save lives."

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Clearly impacted by the news of the shootings at the YouTube complex in California, Mayor Smith pondered how society has changed and why people are resulting to violence so readily.

"What in the world is going on? Why does someone think if you have a grievance, you can go and shoot some one? Have we cheapened life so much? Where are our values," Smith said. "Let’s treat each other with respect. Let’s respect all life."

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