Protecting our school children and teachers

Having graduated from both the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia and the U.S. Secret Service Dignitary Protection School in Washington, D.C., I offer the following information.

The U.S. Secret Service is the most prestigious agencies in the concept of providing protection. They employ methods such as advance site location, advance intelligence, advance magnetometer and personal security detail, to mention a few.

Despite all the security and protection methods mentioned, between the years 1865 and 2006, there have been 14 attempts made on killing the president of the United States. Four attacks resulting in death and two resulting in injury of a president.

The purpose of this information is not to take position one way or the other, but to illustrate human nature being what it is. It cannot always be predicted when someone wants to kill a person with the use of a firearm. As such even when all reasonable and foreseeable precautions are exercised and in place, there are no guarantees that a tragic event can be avoided or will not occur.

It is said that the only deterrent to a bad guy/gal with a gun is a good guy/gal with a gun. That being said, I support the Board of Education considering armed security guards being placed in our schools. I know what you are thinking, armed security guards give the perception that our schools are not safe. What is more important perception or our children? I know of many retired police officers with a high degree of law enforcement expertise in the proper use of a firearm within a school building occupied with students, would apply for the job.

These rash of school shootings across present a unique challenge to both our law enforcement and school officials. Offenders do not in most cases adhere to a predictable pattern, therefore no one knows for sure what an offender will do next or how far they will go in an attempt to reach their objective. As a retired chief of police I realize that plans, no matter how clear and concise they may be, cannot always foresee every circumstance or guarantee that no students will be killed in the foreseeable future. However, a trained retired armed police officer has an excellent chance of bringing down a suspect before he/she can create carnage upon a large student body. Protocol can be legislated on how, when and where an armed security may use their weapon within a school building occupied by students.

I know my recommendation sounds drastic, but the time has come to protect our school children and our teachers. I’d be willing to assist our Board of Education in discussing this very important matter.

Thomas J. Russo



Regrets, I’ve had a few

Every day I watch network TV and news at 6 pm. and 11 p.m., I hear such sad accounts of people of all ages that died tragically.

The correspondents out in the field interview the neighbors. People seem genuinely hurt by the loss of their friend and neighbor and go on to say why they feel as they do. I think most are speaking from the heart.

I hope that they told the person how they felt about knowing them while she or he was still alive. Most would probably feel bad if they hadn’t taken the opportunity.

Using five words from Sinatra’s song “My Way:” “Regrets, I’ve had a few” and it didn’t feel so good when I fully realized after someone died unexpectedly that it was too late to tell them. I can only hope that they somehow knew. I know that’s no excuse, it really isn’t.

Teenagers, please don’t think “Well, they all know how I feel about them.” They probably do, but I’m sure they would still appreciate hearing it directly from you. Just tell them like it is in your own way, but please tell them, you will never regret doing it.

Time to get off my soap box, for now. Thank you Montclairians or Monctlairites for taking the time to read my letter.

Vincent Tango



Trump’s term

I view Trump’s presidential term in office the same as undergoing a stock market crash. Continuous pain and suffering.  Market crashes always have ended.  So Americans, the Sun will rise again in 2020 or before....

Jay Weinstein