HomeIndependentIndependent NewsMiddletown officials increase police officers permitted on force

Middletown officials increase police officers permitted on force

MIDDLETOWN — The members of the Township Committee have amended the portion of the municipal code that governs the number of sworn police officers that may be permitted in Middletown.

During a meeting on Sept. 19, Mayor Tony Perry, Deputy Mayor Rick Hibell, Committeeman Ryan Clarke and Committeewoman Kimberly Kratz voted “yes” on a motion to increase the number of patrol officers, sergeants and lieutenants who may be employed by the Middletown Police Department.

Committeeman Kevin Settembrino was absent from the meeting.

According to the amended ordinance, the township is required to establish the maximum
number of sworn police officers who are permitted to be employed in each rank.

The ordinance states that policing requirements have changed significantly in recent years largely due to a number of changes in the laws and regulations governing law enforcement practices and procedures.

In addition, the township has entered a shared services agreement with the Middletown Township Public Schools Board of Education for the provision of Class III special law
enforcement officers to the school district.

Given the current circumstances, the committee members voted to amend the police ordinance to provide for the following number of officers:

• Police Chief – no more than one;

• Deputy Chief – no more than three;

• Lieutenant – no more than 12; this rank was increased from no more than 10;

• Sergeant – no more than 18; this rank was increased from no more than 15;

• Patrol officer – no more than 91; this rank was increased from no more than 87;

• Special Law Enforcement Officer – Class III SLEOs will be appointed by a
resolution of the governing body for a calendar year or a portion of a calendar year;

• Special Law Enforcement Officer – Class II SLEOs will be appointed by a resolution of the governing body for a calendar year or a portion of a calendar year;

• Special Law Enforcement Officer – Class I, as determined by the police chief on an annual basis. Class I SLEOs will be appointed by a resolution of the governing body for a calendar year or a portion of a calendar year.

No member of the public commented on the ordinance when given the opportunity to do so.

In other business, the committee members voted to introduce three ordinances. A public hearing on each ordinance has been scheduled for the panel’s Oct. 3 meeting:

• The committee members introduced a bond ordinance providing an appropriation of $1.52 million for park improvements. Bonds or notes in the amount of $1.11 million will finance a portion of the costs;

• The committee members introduced a bond ordinance providing an appropriation of $3.47 million for capital improvements. Bonds or notes in the amount of $3.29 million will finance a portion of the costs;

• The committee members introduced an ordinance governing the regulation of short-term rentals of properties (i.e., residences) and amenities (i.e., pools).

Following the ordinance’s introduction, Perry said, “We don’t allow short-term rentals under 30 days. If you are renting your home on Airbnb, or your pool, for one day, for 15 days, for 29 days, that is not allowed in Middletown. This ordinance clarifies new apps that are out there and puts (the prohibition) in black and white.”

Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the bond ordinances and on the short-term rental ordinance during the Oct. 3 meeting of the Township Committee.

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