SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Each year the Board of Education and the Township Committee get together for a joint meeting. The purpose is to discuss how to best utilize shared resources.Monday night focused on the need for Resource Officers at our schools.

Mayor Huber, after discussing it for many years, wants to make this the year it comes to reality – by the start of the new school year. “I want the kids to not be afraid to talk to them”, said the Mayor. “I just want them to feel safe.”

Over the last few years, Chief of Police Cook explained, his officers would pop in and out of the schools. The kids, over time, became familiar seeing the friendly faces. The officers would also go to the Youth Center for after school activities; shooting pool or some hoops with the kids. Moving forward, one idea was to have Class 2 Officers (retired officers that are armed) to show up at the schools. They wouldn’t be in uniform, so as not to intimidate the students – but everyone would know who they are.  The Township approved the hire of two last year, and one was already hired. So there is still room in the budget to hire a second one. Beyond these officers, the Mayor would still also like to see a separate dedicated Resource Officer to service the 5 public schools. They would bounce around (without broadcasting their schedule) from school to school.

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The Board of Education is in agreement, conceptually. They have asked that all ideas be run through Superintendent DaVino and Business Administrator Matt Clarke before any commitments are made.

On a Separate Issue…

Committeeman Capodice would like to create an Ad-hoc committee this fall, to start a rebuild of the town’s TV channel and the content it would provide. By using the school resources combined with the Township needs, he is hoping to make a more dynamic communication process for the residents. The Township can run announcements about everything from potholes to recycling to township events. The school can also utilize the channel for their needs like posting Honor Roll lists, student projects, etc. He feels besides an access point for communication, students will take pride in seeing their names and projects posted on the TV for all to see. While this is not a true “shared resource”, Capodice sees it as a “shared endeavor”.

Again, while the BOE was receptive to the idea, they asked the TC to run all agendas/ideas past President Silverstein and the Business Administrator Clarke for follow-up input.

Traffic Issues…

  • The BOE may be looking at the possibility of getting traffic lights outside of Walton School, and the High School. They may lean on the TC for their County connections.
  • St. James the Apostle School may be reformatting their parking lot, causing the Gaudineer Middle School to lose it’s “shared” driveway and impacting student drop-off procedures starting this fall. Once the BOE knows exactly what’s going on, the situation will be addressed.