Marine vet elected to N.J. school board delivering on promise of armed officer in every school

"We should not be measuring the response time to some sort of incident in our school in minutes, we should be measuring that in seconds," said John McCarthy, a former infantry officer.

Updated: November 27, 2021 - 10:33pm

It was just weeks ago that Marine veteran John McCarthy won his local school board election in Ocean Township, N.J., campaigning for an armed resource officer in every school. Now, he's already delivering on that promise. 

The school district only had one school resource officer, or "special III" police officer, to cover three elementary schools. 

"We should not be measuring the response time to some sort of incident in our school in minutes, we should be measuring that in seconds," McCarthy, a former infantry officer, told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

Although it's unlikely that a school shooting "could happen in your school," said McCarthy, "if you're going to use the argument that we should have zero children in the ICU due to COVID, that argument applies to we should have zero children in the ICU due to a potential mass shooter."

Since the election Nov. 2, the superintendent has already hired an additional special III officer, and "there's gonna be another one that is hopefully on the way," McCarthy reported.

McCarthy also wants to start a new pre-K system to replace the current lottery system that takes 20 kids from each tax bracket — lower, middle, and top — across three schools. 

He said that working-class families are the ones who suffer the most from the lottery because they're unable to send their kids to private pre-K if they can't win a slot in the town's system. 

While McCarthy acknowledged that the new pre-K system would come at the expense of the taxpayer, he said it would attract younger families to the town and suggested that it would increase property values for residents and set up important educational opportunities for children. He added that "it's looking as though the lottery system is going to be removed next year."

McCarthy said that in talking to fellow residents during the campaign he was encouraged to learn that "the average American still cares about the values that we all hold dear," such as wanting "a better life for our children," having "a wonderful town that we can all call home," and knowing "that there is this abundance of freedom for us to make decisions out here."

"It's only a vocal minority that is getting out and making it out as though this country is not the same as it used to be," he said.