Jackson residents approve expenditure for additional school security officers

JACKSON – Residents have voted to support the hiring of additional security officers in the Jackson School District.

A public question on the Nov. 6 ballot asked voters if they wanted to add six school security officers at a cost of $411,611 for the 2018-19 school year. District administrators said approval of the question would allow for the hiring of six full-time security officers and result in full coverage at all schools.

The district consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools.

According to unofficial results posted online by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Jackson residents approved the security proposal by a count of 9,778 “yes” votes to 9,068 “no” votes. The result will not be official until it is certified by the county.

Administrators said voter approval of the ballot question would result in a permanent increase in the school district’s tax levy. They said the security expenditures are in addition to the expenditures that are necessary to achieve the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

District administrators said passage of the question means the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $327,000 will pay about $10 more in annual school taxes to cover the additional security personnel.

“The only way to increase our security force, which is currently made up of many retired police officers, was for us to look at the (ballot question). With the addition of six full-time security officers we would be able to provide full coverage to all of our schools, all day,” Superintendent of Schools Stephen Genco previously said.

At present, the Jackson School District employs a director of security, 10 full-time security officers and three part-time security officers. Through a shared services agreement with the township, two officers employed by the Jackson Police Department also work in the school district.