Plumsted police add officer

By kathy baratta
Staff Writer

By kathy baratta
Staff Writer

PLUMSTED — The Plumsted Police Department recently hired a Class 2 special officer.

According to Police Director Peter Weinrich, a Class 2 special officer has no police power when he is off-duty, nor when he is outside his designated jurisdiction, except in emergency conditions.

Weinrich said when a Class 2 special officer is on duty he must be accompanied by a fully certified police officer.

The hiring of William Thompson brings the number of police officers staffing the Plumsted department to nine officers; eight are full-time and one is part-time. Thompson, who will be the part-time officer, will not receive any health or employment benefits.

Mayor Ron Dancer said that due to the township’s receipt of a grant, the Township Committee was able to hire Thompson, a former corrections officer with more than 20 of police experience, as a Class 2 special officer.

According to Dancer, all police officers previously hired with federal funds are now fully funded in Plumsted’s 2002 budget without any tax increase or future liability.

According to Dancer, "Since the federal grants had a three-year expiration of funding, the Township Committee, with financial planning over the past four years, prorated the funding in each of the previous budgets to provide Plumsted with a 2002 budget that did not need, anticipate or rely upon federal grant revenues or tax increases to pay for our police officers."

Also, according to Dancer, the police department has applied for a Missing Child Alert System (MCAS) federal grant. If received, the MCAS grant will provide the department with a desktop computer, all hardware, programs, printer and on-site training needed by officers to operate the system.

Dancer said MCAS provides police officers with the ability to create color bulletins of missing children and electronically distribute them. He said it can also be used for wanted persons’ artist sketches in conjunction with the National Amber Alert system.

In other news, Dancer said the North Main Street bridge detour is scheduled to end soon. He said Township Committee-man Ken Francis, who is the liaison to the road department, has been having discussions with representatives of the Ocean County Engineering Depart-ment regarding the lengthy bridge replacement detour near the New Egypt Elementary School.

Dancer said the county’s assistant engineer, Frank Scarantino, informed Francis that efforts by the county road crew to pre-drill for the installation of timber piles was not successful. As a result, the county is now designing a pre-cast concrete bridge designed without piles.

However, according to Dancer, a new contractor must be retained, therefore, the bridge replacement project may not be completed for another four to six months.

In an effort to minimize any inconvenience to the public, by month’s end the county will be installing a temporary bridge.

The road will be reopened to the public and detour signs will be removed. Dancer said the temporary bridge will be in place for four to six months until a new contractor installs the pre-cast concrete designed permanent bridge.