Students and parents at nine public schools in the small New Jersey city of Marlboro found armed police patrolling the halls on Wednesday, a response to last month's massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The idea came from Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who said the initiative calms the entire community.

After the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which left 27 dead, including 20 children, the National Rifle Association held a press conference at which it issued a call to Congress to authorize funds to ensure that when classes resumed after the Christmas break all schools would have "a security blanket."

The Department of Education in Marlboro, a city of 40,000, placed on its Web page a message informing the public about the decision to station police in the schools for 90 days while measures to improve security are discussed by local authorities.

It also noted that some schools already have armed police in the halls in keeping with the anti-drug education program. EFE