Jackson hires three officers

By Joyce Blay
Staff Writer

Jackson hires
three officers
By Joyce Blay
Staff Writer

JACKSON — Law and order was the theme of the evening at the Township Committee’s meeting on Nov. 25 at which the appointments of three new police officers were announced.

Keith R. George, Thomas L. Battle Jr. and Michael S. Kelly were all hired with federal funding from a grant program designed to place resource officers in local schools to interact with students, according to Public Safety Director Sam DePasquale, who introduced the new officers at the meeting.

DePasquale said after the meeting that a fourth candidate, Raymond R. Scully, to whom the department had also made an offer of employment, had called just prior to the meeting to say he would not accept the job. DePasquale said the department would make an offer to a new candidate.

The appointments of the officers announced at the Nov. 25 meeting are conditional pending a background investigation of each individual. They are scheduled to start work on Dec. 19 once the investigations are completed satisfactorily.

The three appointments increase the roster of the Jackson Police Department to a total of 80 police officers, according to DePasquale.

"The new hires will free up officers to be positioned in the middle and high schools," said DePasquale. "We expect to begin placing resource officers in the schools next year, once we determine what type of interaction they will have with students."

In other committee business, a first reading was held of an ordinance to ban smoking on all township-owned property at all times, including all parks and recreational facilities.

The penalty for first-time offenders who smoke on township property would be up to 15 hours of community service; second-time offenders would be required to put in up to 30 hours of community service and to pay a fine of up to $100; and third-time offenders would be required to perform up to 50 hours of community service and to pay a fine of up to $250. The municipal court judge will have the discretion of requiring that any community service assigned to those who violate the ordinance be participation in a non-smoking educational or support program.

A second reading was held of an ordinance which would no longer require that alarm permits be renewed annually. Instead, all permits issued would be valid unless or until revoked or suspended. However, the ordinance would require that a new permit be issued for any conversion or takeover of the owner’s alarm system, whichever is applicable.

In a subsequent telephone conversation, DePasquale said he estimated that about 200 or more alarms are currently unregistered in Jackson and that until they go off, the police and the township are unaware of their installation.

"Until it goes off or we get a call that it was a false alarm, there’s no way to know an unregistered alarm was installed at that location," he said. "People may not know they have to register their alarm systems. This ordinance is meant to make that process easier."