Lakewood seeks to hire

Class II special officers

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

LAKEWOOD — If you have police academy training and have worked one to three years as a seasonal police officer for a Shore community, Lakewood wants to discuss a possible job with you, according to Charles Cunliffe, the Township Committee’s liaison with the police department.

"South Jersey towns, particularly shore towns, can hire Class II officers" during the spring and summer to supplement their law enforcement needs, said Cunliffe. "During the winter, their populations are only a quarter of that size, so there are lot of Class II officers available to work on a part-time or temporary basis."

The special officers will be paid between $11 and $16 per hour for part-time services, but will have all the powers of a full-time officer.

"I can see using them for the next one to three years to put more police presence on the street until we can graduate more police officers," said Cunliffe. "We are the biggest little city in Ocean County and we are faced with many of the challenges faced by big cities."

Cunliffe said the goal is to hire up to 24 applicants for the Special Law Enforce-ment Officer — Class II positions until officials can complete the hiring and training of additional full-time police officers. He said the police force in June or July stood at 114 officers. Depleted by several retirements since then, Cunliffe said the committee’s five-year goal is to raise the department’s roster to 120 or 125 officers.

"Seven [are] in class now, five will be attending the next class in winter and another six [will be in] next year’s summer academy," said the committeeman. "Even though they graduate in January, we’re probably talking May or June before we can get them out on the street."

In the meantime, said Cunliffe, hiring the Class II officers will enable the township to meet its goal.

Anyone with the requisite background and training who would like to apply for one of the Special Law Enforcement Officer – Class II positions is asked to contact Public Safety Director Wayne Yhost or Township Manager Frank Edwards, said Cunliffe. The township welcomes the opportunity to hire applicants who are bilingual, he added.

"That would be my hope," Cunliffe said. "We just passed the ordinance. We now want to hire these officers."

In other business, the committee introduced an ordinance that establishes an increase over a three-year period in the salaries for union members of the Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Associa-tion’s Local 380 Classified Service Emergency Medical Technicians.

There are six steps or levels of expertise that determine salary. The salary range in 2004 begins at $31,893 and goes up to $60,599. In 2005, the range will begin at $32,850 for Step 1 and will rise to a maximum at Step 6 of $62,417. By 2006, the beginning salary for Step 1 will be 33,835 and rise to the Step 6 level of $64,290.