Spotswood council approves resolution appointing humane officer

Scott Jacobs

SPOTSWOOD–The Borough Council approved a resolution appointing Sgt. John Pfeiffer as the Spotswood Police Department’s municipal law enforcement officer in charge of animal control.

The reason behind this appointment, Chief Michael Zarro said, is that it is “a mandate from the Office of the Attorney General with the dissolving of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSCPA) at the state level. What was tasked on local law enforcement [was] every law enforcement agency in this state had to deem a declared animal control person.”

The council authorized Pfeiffer as the municipal humane law enforcement officer during the Nov. 7 council meeting.

Zarro reported that the police department is waiting for Middlesex County specific training on what the parameters of the position will be as far as investigative thresholds. Some other counties, such as Union County, are using private partners to train, but right now the police department is waiting on that training.

“We do have an animal control shared service agreement with East Brunswick right now, but this would be cruelty to animals and crimes involving animals and stuff that is more in-depth than just picking up a stray. So, that is now on law enforcement to handle,” Zarro said.

Pfeiffer will receive applicable training at the direction of Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the council.

“Right now when … we don’t know what the jurisdictional issue is we run every through the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, that would be the protocol,” Zarro said.

In other news, Council President Margaret Drozd said the Spotswood Police Department was voted as one of the top three police departments in Middlesex County.

Zarro said this is the third year the police department was voted to such a distinction.

“It’s mission-goal here is that we are part of this community, all the people that work here are stakeholders in this community. I demand a lot from my people here and I know that can be a shortcoming for me. I want people to be extraordinary, not just ordinary, so I do push here a lot,” Zarro said. “I pushed them with the takeover of Helmetta with that shared service agreement and I certainly pushed my people with accreditation, which we are in the final legs. We will be accredited shortly, as best practice standards in the state within the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.”

Zarro said he couldn’t ask for a more dedicated group.

“Right now, I got all the cylinders working, everything is clicking right now. Of course, not everyone is going to be happy, but for the most part everybody here cares about this community and they come to work and they try to make a difference,” he said. “That is all I can ask for.”

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