TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Advertise On TAP »

Letters to the Editor

Increasing VA Accountability & Economic Opportunity for Our Veterans This Memorial Day

May 22, 2015

Dear Friend, Memorial Day is a time when Americans pay tribute, honor and remember those who have served our country bravely and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and democracy. ...

Read the Full Story »

Today's Events

  • NJ Greek Fest

    This year enjoy NJ Greek Fest activities include cooking ...

Police Blotter

$100 in Cigarettes Reported Stolen from Westfield 7-Eleven

May 27, 2015

May 24, 2015 1:16 a.m. An employee of 7-Eleven located at 1200 West South Ave. reported being the victim of a shoplifting. Victim reports that a white male between 40-50 years old entered the ...

Read the Full Story »

Columns

JCC NEWS

The JCC of Central New Jersey Welcomes Conductor Thomas Elefant for a Music Appreciation Series

During the month of June, the JCC of Central New Jersey is hosting conductor Thomas Elefant who will teach a Music Appreciation series.  Elefant is the Founder and Conductor of The Handel ...

Read the Full Story »

Weltman Home Services

If You Are on the Fence, the Time is Now!

If you are on the fence replacing your on AC the time is now!  Weltman Home Services is offering a $750 INSTANT CASH REBATE on all new installations but it's only good until JUNE 15th. ...

Read the Full Story »

BH Sports Training/BrawlHouse: The Water Cooler

BrawlHouse Announces Women's Only Self-Defense Classes

Did you know that 1/5 female college students will become a victim of rape or sexual assault? More evidence rape a significant problem on U.S. college campuses. Women’s Only ...

Read the Full Story »

Lindabury Legal Corner

Lindabury Participates In Red Nose Day 2015

On Thursday May 21, 2015 the attorneys and staff of Lindabury McCormick participated in Red Nose Day and raised money to provide assistance to children and young people in the United States living ...

Read the Full Story »

The Seventh District Congressional Report

The Seventh District Congressional Report

Congressman Lance is joined by Congressman Donald Payne Jr. to discuss business before the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Read the Full Story »

Point View WealthPoints

Soaring Dollar and Your Portfolio: What You Need to Know

Over the last year the Dollar has appreciated nearly 22% versus the world’s currencies.  With forecasts for continuing Dollar strength, what’s the next move for ...

Read the Full Story »

ViaNutrition

Mindful Eating Tips to Help with Health and Weight Loss

Everyone just wants to feel better, move better, look better and be happy.  Not always in that order but they all rank up there. How we get there is different for everyone. Coming off of a ...

Read the Full Story »

Westfield Area Y

New Local Mental Health Coaltion Launched

Stress, anxiety and depression are conditions that occur to all of us at various times.  Yet, there is a stigma attached to discussing mental health.  In recognition of Mental Health ...

Read the Full Story »

In the Schools

Westfield High School Senior Jorge Ledesma Named Presidential Scholar

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the selection of Jorge Ledesma, a senior at Westfield High School, as a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Ledesma is one of 141 outstanding ...

Read the Full Story »

Connecting Commerce and Community

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Introduces The Community Street map

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce will once again produce its Community Street Map, which includes all of our five towns--Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield. ...

Read the Full Story »

Monday with Millicent

Time to Eat at Fiamma Quimby Street, Westfield

The first Fiamma Restaurant opened about five months ago on the corner of Main and Essex Street in Millburn. Owned by brothers Tony Fetajak, Charlie, and Sam Magjuni, and their friend Sam Bek, ...

Read the Full Story »

Why I Opposed the Armed Officer (SRO), Again

By MITCH SLATER

May 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Last night at the Board of Education Meeting the plan was to hear a presentation about the effectiveness of the Student Resource Officer (Westfield policeman) for this past school year. One would have thought the actual officer himself would have appeared and spoke, but instead we heard a presentation from our Guidance Director and WHS Vice Principal.

I was very disappointed to not hear directly from the officer, though my views have not changed that what we really needed was a SAC (student assistance counselor) or mental health professional instead of an armed officer. Recently a criminologist at the University of Maryland wrote, "There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety. And it increases the number of minor behavior problems that are referred to the police—pushing kids into the criminal justice system."

Recently The Star Ledger reported on an incident at another NJ School where a coach at a sporting event grabbed the holster and gun from the school SRO and pointed it another coach in anger. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but these kinds of situations are alarming.

Just last week in another state a High School senior prank was met with an SRO approaching the students with his gun pointing directly at them--not knowing it was a prank. Add to the mix that a 2010 study of NYC Police officers showed that in situations where they are firing directly at a person, only 28.3 percent actually hit their target. Nobody wants to imagine what a stray bullet would do in a school of 2,000 kids and hundreds of staff. I am not staying that would ever happen with our excellent police force, but it's just not worth the risk in my opinion.

Neighboring towns are choosing other methods of security, like a wonderful new technology called the Share 911 program. It is a high tech emergency information system that provides access for employees, teachers, students, parents and most importantly first responders. It is being used all over NJ (nearby Springfield and Berkeley Heights, for example) in schools that have chosen to not have an armed SRO.

I also would like to know what the students' take has been on the SRO—I think a survey would be very helpful here. Please know I have nothing against our current SRO—he is an excellent officer and a dedicated young man.  Obviously as a parent I want all of our schools to be a safe environment. I just do not believe bringing a gun into the school is the smartest way to do it.

These are the views of Mitch Slater, Westfield resident, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Board of Education.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.