Fully-equipped police officers to be deployed to Cherry Hill Public Schools

In addition, the Cherry Hill Board of Education is enacting new, stricter entry protocols for all schools.

Cherry Hill township and school officials announced new security procedures for the Cherry Hill school district following a meeting last Friday morning.

Cherry Hill Township announced fully-equipped police officers will now be inside all high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. The officers were deployed beginning on March 5.

Township and school officials met on Friday morning to discussion security in Cherry Hill Public Schools and township officials have given the green light to immediately assign Cherry Hill police officers in schools, according to a statement from the township. This is in addition to the daily-directed patrols already occurring in and around the schools.

“As I said earlier this week, when talking about safeguarding our schools, we need to talk about what immediate measures can be taken. I believe the quickest, most efficient way to have an immediate increase in security is to have fully equipped police officers in our schools,” said Mayor Chuck Cahn in a statement. “We are ready and willing to partner with the schools. We have the capability to make improvements today and that’s what we are going to do.”

“We need to take steps to immediately improve school security while a more comprehensive plan is developed and put into action,” Council President David Fleisher said. “All of town council stands ready to work with the mayor and school officials to ensure the safety of our children and our entire community.”

In a statement, Cherry Hill Public Schools Superintendent Joe Meloche announced new, stricter security protocols for anyone visiting Cherry Hill schools.

“In light of recent events, including the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, we are taking a comprehensive look at our current protocols and how we can continue to improve,” Meloche said in the statement. “We share the concern and the emotion and the impact of the events that have occurred in our country. The Board of Education and the school district are grateful to the students, the families, the community members, the staff and community officials who have so passionately engaged in discussion about making sure our children are safe.”

As part of the new protocols, parents, guardians and family members must now present photo identification and the student ID number of their child before entering the building. All other visitors must make an appointment prior to arriving at the school and will have to present photo identification to be admitted. In addition, all of the school will communicate arrival and dismissal procedures with children and their families.

A special Cherry Hill Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. inside the Cherry Hill High School West auditorium. The agenda will be posted online Monday and there will be a public comment period during the meeting.