"In the aftermath of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, many people are searching for answers and ways to improve safety and security at schools throughout the country. In a recent interview, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood shared his personal view with a reporter that he believed the only way to stop school shootings was to arm select school personnel. I want to note that the views expressed by Superintendent Chitwood were his personal opinions and in no way reflect a policy of my administration.
As the Mayor of Upper Darby Township, I have the authority to help provide safety and security on our streets, but not within the walls of our township schools. The power to adopt policies related to safety and security within our schools is within the jurisdiction of the elected members of the Upper Darby School Board and I respect that distinction. The township has always and will continue to provide the Upper Darby School District with the assistance they request for their initiatives to provide safety and security in our schools.
From a township perspective, we have dedicated a number of police officers to the areas around our schools, particularly around the high school. Our police are trained in handling school emergencies and have conducted numerous 'lockdown' drills to ensure that we are prepared to rapidly and effectively handle any situation. My administration stands ready to do whatever it takes to protect our children and I look forward to a productive dialogue with the school board to address the safety plan.
I was pleased that many residents came to the Upper Darby Township Council meeting last night to express their views on this important issue. I encourage those same people and any other concerned residents to attend the school board meeting on Tuesday, March 6th at 6 p.m. to make their feelings known to the school board and to learn what steps the board is taking in light of this tragedy."
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