Voters cast ballots for school budgets

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Voters across the Capital Region came out on Tuesday to cast their ballots on proposed school budgets.

This year, several districts are hoping to add armed resource officers to their hallways for the first time.

“I think there should be at least five in every school.”

There was overwhelming support for the addition of an armed school resource officer in the halls of North Colonie schools.

“People’s children and grandchildren are there, and it’s scary,” Jane, of South Colonie, said. “I want to make it safe for them.”

Voters said having an armed officer in the school is just a reality of the times given security concerns and tragedies like the Parkland school shooting in Florida.

“You certainly don’t want to be that parent that has to face that reality, so being proactive I think it’s very important,” Mark McKinney, of North Colonie, said.

RELATED: LOCAL SCHOOL BUDGET PROPOSALS

While voters in South Glens Falls cast their ballots for or against a resource officer, the district already had plain clothes law enforcement officers in place. They were there throughout the day due to the influx of visitors at the school, but voters didn’t seem to mind.

“The more security the better,” Matt Lombardi, of South Glens Falls, said. “I see the dangers of having all these students in one place. It’s just to prime a target – to rich a target to not protect it.”

In Mechanicville, voters vocalized the same support. Many said they made up their minds that extra security was necessary after two Mechanicville middle schoolers made a terroristic threat at the school in March.

“It’s scared everybody, and parents would be so much more at ease knowing there’s somebody [that is] trained with a firearm to protect their children,” Mechanicville School Board contender Daniel O’Connor said.

“Things happen and we don’t want to be the first to say, ‘Oh, it happened here,’” Mechanicville resident Nancy McCormack said. “Well, no, you can’t take back lives.”

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