New Jersey School Security Program Suspended Pending Investigation

New Jersey School Security Program Suspended Pending Investigation

Palisades Park schools suspends security program and calls for investigation into the hiring of security guards.

Parlisades Park indefinitely suspended a program in which nine former police officers had been serving as armed guards in the New Jersey borough's public schools after it was found that they had been hired without submitting resumes or undergoing background checks or psychological exams.

David Lorenzo, the borough's administrator, made the announcement a day after the school board, in a special meeting, pulled two of the security guards from their posts. The borough and the school board each called for an investigation into the origins of the shared-serves agreement under which the security program was created.

Borough police officers will be assigned to guard the district's three public schools until further notice, Lorenzo said.

The suspension of the security program came after published an investigation that delved into the backgrounds of some of the guards, all of whom are retired police officers.

The probe found that some of the guards had been accused in the past of some serious offenses, including aggravated assault, police brutality and lying to authorities. In addition, the report found that two of the guards were carrying handguns after their permits had expired. None of the guards have been convicted of a crime. 

The state Department of Education is reviewing the matter, a spokesperson said.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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