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Armed Officers To Guard Schools In New Jersey Town

NBCNEWS.COM - Schools in a New Jersey township will begin placing armed officers at its doors beginning 2013.

Jonathan Hornik, the mayor of Marlboro Township announced late last month that the district's nine schools would be guarded by police officers at the start of the new year.

Hornik, a Democrat, defended his decision on MSNBC Tuesday, and said he was not motivated by an attempt to create federal or state policy, nor was it a statement on the NRA's call to put more guns in schools.

"With the unfortunate events that happened in Newtown, Connecticut, the only way we can take immediate steps right now is to put a police officer, a trained professional, in our schools until we can realize what other security measures we can take in order to keep our children safe."

Both President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have both said more guns were not the answer to protecting schools.

"You don't want to make this an armed camp for kids," Christie previously said.

Hornik says he disagrees with the governor.

"I haven't heard a suggestion out of the governor's office or any of the other elected officials who are say they're uncomfortable. These aren't armed guards, these are professional police officers—the ones we call when there's an emergency, and they're there to calm and possibly deter a future event."

He added that it was better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to keeping children safe. "You can't sit back and take no action after what happened in Newtown. If you're an elected official in this country and your position right now was to hope that that event doesn't happen in your town, I believe that that's a mistake, and that's not what we're prepared to do in Marlboro Township."

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