Options weighed for security at Bradley Beach Elementary

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Bradley Beach Elementary School. FILE PHOTO

BRADLEY BEACH — The Bradley Beach Board of Education [BOE] opened a conversation about school safety at the monthly Board of Education meeting on Tuesday.

The discussion focused on steps the school will take to protect the children of Bradley Beach Elementary School [BBES]. The two options under consideration triggered a sometimes contentious exchange between members of the public, the school board and Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard Guida.

One option is the placement of a full-time School Resource Officer [SRO] at BBES for the entire school year. School security would be the “first and foremost” responsibility of this officer, Chief Guida said.

The alternative presented by the board is to use the $20,000 annual cost of posting a police officer at the school to instead invest in security technologies to be determined by a committee.

Those attending the May 15 meeting were sharply divided on the question after Chief Guida made it clear that his recommendation was that a police officer be posted in the school and Stephen Wisniewski, principal and superintendent, seemed to be leaning in that direction as well.

“It’s a simple straightforward offer by the police department,” said Chief Guida addressing the board during a back and forth discussion. “If you’re not interested in it, that’s your prerogative. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.