New Jersey District Looking to Hire Private, Armed Security

New Jersey District Looking to Hire Private Armed Security

If successful, it would be the first time a K-8 school district in Burlington County has been guarded full-time by a non-law enforcement officer.

Southampton Township Schools is looking to hire private, armed security to increase security and safety at its campuses. If successful, it would be the first time a K-8 school district in Burlington County has been guarded full-time by a non-law enforcement officer.

Southampton is one of many districts expanding security at elementary schools to include measures that were once only used at high schools.

Superintendent Michael Harris said the district is serious about finding the right people for the job.

“We’re not looking for ‘Paul Blart, Mall Cop,’” Harris said. “This is more than bringing someone with a firearm onto campus. We’re looking for someone with a lot of experience.”

Currently, Southampton receives free security from the New Jersey State Police. Most districts in Burlington County receive security staff from municipal police or from retired officers employed by local police.

According to a request for proposals issued earlier this month, responsibilities of Southampton’s private security officer would include providing armed security during the school day and for some evening events, vetting visitors to campus, monitoring video surveillance and conducting routine inspections.

Candidates must have more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement. Harris said the district expects to spend about $55,000 to $60,000 on the officer.

Southampton’s decision to hire private security comes as part of a larger effort to increase security measures, including plans for a $300,000 video surveillance system and the hiring of a second school counselor to provide students with emotional and social support.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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