Freehold Township hires special officers to serve at local schools

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Four Class III special law enforcement officers have been hired by the Township Committee to provide security at Freehold Township’s schools.

During a meeting on Jan. 5, committee members appointed George Heitz, Joseph Lynch, William Rodriguez and Salvatore Siino as Class III officers on the recommendation of Police Chief George Baumann. The appointments run through Dec. 31.

According to a resolution, the Class III officers are authorized to exercise full powers and duties similar to those of full-time police officers while providing security at Freehold Township’s schools during the hours the schools are normally in session or when the buildings are occupied by students or teachers.

While on duty in his jurisdiction, a Class III officer may respond to offenses or emergencies off school grounds if the offenses occur in the officer’s presence while traveling to a school, but a Class III officer may not otherwise be dispatched or dedicated to any assignment off a school property owned by the township.

Freehold Township has nine public schools: the Early Childhood Learning Center, C. Richard Applegate School, Joseph J. Catena School, Laura Donovan School, Marshall W. Errickson School, West Freehold School, Barkalow Middle School and Eisenhower Middle School, which comprise the Freehold Township K-8 School District; and Freehold Township High School, which is part of the Freehold Regional High School District.

And, committee members appointed Christopher Brunner and Jeremy Jeffries as Class II special law enforcement officers for 2021.

According to a resolution, the duties of the Class II officers will be limited and confined to the Freehold Township schools; the issuing of summonses in fire zones, handicap parking areas and no parking zones; serving as municipal courtroom officers; handling traffic control in special details; serving as communications operators; and performing special duties assigned by the police chief.

The Class II officers will not be armed when they are off-duty, they will not be members of the police force, and their powers and duties will end at the expiration of the term for which they are appointed or upon revocation of the appointments, according to the resolution.