Approximately 150 people have applied for the city’s 50 special police officers slots that were created through an ordinance in October, said police director Jerry Speziale.
The director said the next step is for the city to notify the Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police to schedule an examination for the applicants to pass through. After a time, date, and location has been selected for the applicants, the city will invite the applicants to take the exam.
“Once they give us the testing date, three days after the test we will get the list,” said Speziale. “Then we will begin the process of background checks.”
The city created the 50-person special police force in order to relieve the city’s regular police force of mundane crowd control, traffic directing, and crossing guard duties.
Special police officers, called Class I police, will not have the ability to carry firearms; however, they will have the authority to issue summonses for disorderly conduct like loud music, public intoxication.
The specials will also have the authority to enforce city ordinances.
Speziale said it will take two to three months for all the background checks to process after which the specials will be required to undergo 80 hours of Class One Special Law Enforcement Academy course with the New Jersey Police Training Commission to obtain state certificates. “They’re looking at three weeks at the academy,” said Speziale.
After background check and training, the special officers will begin reporting to duty around March or April, said Speziale.
Although the city intends to hire 50 specials for now, if the program is successful it may decide to expand the force, at which point the director will be able to draw from the pool of eligible candidates.