TINTON FALLS — The members of the Borough Council are taking action to increase the maximum number of patrol officers who may be hired by the Tinton Falls Police Department.
During a meeting on Sept. 20, council members introduced an ordinance that will, if adopted, amend the police force section of the municipal code by changing the composition of the police force.
Under the terms of the proposed amended ordinance, the maximum permitted number of patrol officers will increase from 28 to 32.
A public hearing on the ordinance has been scheduled for Oct. 11. The council members may adopt the ordinance that evening.
According to the amended ordinance, the current maximum number of police officers permitted in Tinton Falls is 43: one chief of police, two captains, five lieutenants, seven sergeants and 28 patrol officers. The amended ordinance will increase the total number of permitted police officers to 47.
When asked about the amended ordinance by a resident, Borough Attorney Kevin Starkey said the proposed increase came in response to the police department reaching its maximum number of permitted patrol officers.
The maximum number of patrol officers on the force was reached earlier in the council meeting when a new officer was administered the oath of office and joined the Tinton Falls Police Department.
Starkey said borough officials currently have no plans to hire additional officers, but the attorney explained that the proposed ordinance allows borough officials to do so if presented with the need to increase police department personnel.
“(The amended ordinance) is (being considered) so there is some leeway going forward if there is a need to hire,” he said.
In other business, the council members introduced an ordinance that will, if adopted, authorize the acquisition of a 1.5-acre parcel of land at the corner of Essex Road and Asbury Avenue.
A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 11. The governing body may adopt the ordinance that evening.
According to the ordinance, the vacant parcel will be acquired from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which offered to transfer the land to the borough.
Starkey explained that Tinton Falls officials intend to acquire the parcel to prevent development from taking place at the corner of Essex Road and Asbury Avenue.