It is really disheartening to see how the Mayor of West Windsor uses his free time to keep posting in the Facebook page West Windsor Peeps. It is very sad that that Hemant Marathe and Virgina Manzari want to push his own agenda by stating several inaccuracies:
1. The shared service agreement for Class III officers in the schools cannot be completely understood if it is not accompanied by the Memorandum of Agreement with West Windsor that the Police Department has in place at present. This is a crucial part of understanding the shared services agreement that should be attached to it when the vote is cast.
2. The Shared Services Agreement it is poorly written, full of typos and meaningless sentences.
3. The indemnification clause is in detriment to the township. Why would the township agree to indemnify the school in the event of an accident when it is the school who wants this?
4. There are highly concerns regarding students’ civil rights being violated as the shared service agreement is too lose with the language. This is only opening a can of warms, and as soon as something happens the school will be sued and the township will end up paying.
5. The contract states the police officers will be “uniformed” despite repeated assurance during the presentations that they would not be in uniform.
6. The contract does not provide for any measurements of the success of the program.
7. The contract does not provide for any measurements of the success of an individual officer.
8. The contract does not provide for any regular review of the officers.
9. The contract does not include any defined process to dismiss an officer by anyone other than the sole discretion of the police chief.
10. The contract states that only the Superintendent gets to contest the officer hired. There is no definition of the criteria, process, or time frames for such actions or decisions.
11. The contract refers to Police Department policies, the Code of Conduct applicable to police employees and BOE standards, yet there are no addendums that include this information.
12. The contract states that in January 2018 “both parties agreed that it was in the best interest to have the Township Police Department provide armed uniformed personnel.” Is this even true? When and how did West Windsor agree to this, and is this agreement in the public record?
13. Why is this important vote taking place in the middle of the summer when most of the residents are away?
14. In the May 8th presentation Mr. Aderhold clearly stated (minute 29.05) that no recommendations will be coming from the Administration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLlxR5OT2KM&t=29m5s)
Dr. Aderhold clearly says: No recommendation will be coming from the administration to have private security … carry weapons …”
It is beyond baffling that Virginia Manzari who opposed all Aderhold’s initiatives as long as her son was in the public school system now is agreeing to vote YES on this matter. Now that her son has moved to a private school, she is going above and beyond trying to disseminate the wrong information just to spread fear among the community. It is shameful that a councilwoman will resort to such low tactics.
I have taken the time to ask several of the top notch private schools that we have around, such as Lawrenceville, PDS, Peddie and Hun what their thoughts are regarding Class III police officers in their buildings.
The answer that I always get from these top-notch schools is “it would hurt the learning environment for the students.” Our school district has 10,000 students. Do we want to put their ability to learn at risk? Do we want to create more stress for the students? Aderhold has been an advocate regarding stress and mental health, why are we adding more stress to the mix?
In addition, it is very unclear if the Class III Police Officers will be at the schools in case of a shooting OR they will be at the schools due to a “drug problem” that Hemant Marathe mentioned. Are we putting guns to protect the students from a shooting, or a we putting police officers to detained students that have a drug addiction? If it is the latter, everyone knows that professional counseling and help is what these students need. These students with a drug addiction, certainly do not need a record that will follow them for life!
Voting in favor of this shared service agreement is a huge disservice to the community and our students.
— Veronica Mehno, West Windsor