PATERSON - The Paterson Board of Education has decided to re-arm 11 retired officers assigned to schools in the district, after disarming them at the beginning of the school year.
The officers, who will wear uniforms and wear the weapons in plain sight, will be in addition to the 50 unarmed school resource officers and 12 off-duty police already in the schools. There are also nearly 200 unarmed contracted security guards.
Students told News 12 New Jersey that the officers will make them feel safer. Paterson 12th-grader Dianna Mejia says, "I guess it's a good idea because in this school there are a lot of kids who cause trouble."
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The move is part of a comprehensive plan to improve security in the schools. Officials will also be installing electronic door locks, better lighting and fencing around schools, and panic alarms.
The retired officers will go through state training for school resource officers and will be ready for service in the fall.