State mandates, a new patrol schedule and map, as well as an expanded role for the Brick Township Police Department has necessitated more supervisory positions to be created, officials say.
The township council has introduced an ordinance that will expand minimum staffing levels for sergeants, lieutenants and captains in the department. As it stands now, the department has three captains, seven lieutenants and 19 sergeants. The department as a whole has between 132 and 134 officers, depending on retirements and new hires.
The ordinance, introduced last week, would increase the maximum number of sergeants to 23, and increase the number of lieutenants and captains to nine and four, respectively.
“The additional sergeants are needed to facilitate the schedule change that has saved the township $400,000 in the first year,” said Council President Heather deJong.
Additionally, there have been some changes in patrol districts. The troubled Maple Leaf Park condominium complex and the immediate surrounding area has become its own dedicated district. Likewise, the barrier island portion of the township has become its own patrol district as homes are rebuilt following Supestorm Sandy and year-round population is increasing. The department has also expanded its bicycle and marine patrols.
An additional supervisor is also required because of the state’s requirements when it comes to managing police body cameras.
“Community policing takes manpower, and amending this ordinance will help our police serve the town better,” deJong said.
Mayor John Ducey said despite the number of positions that would allowed under the ordinances, Chief James Riccio is only interested in filling two immediately, both sergeants. Ducey said though there are currently 19 sergeants, 21 officers are receiving a sergeant’s salary as they perform tasks that, essentially, are completed by sergeants. There will be no immediate salary impact, he said.
As for the remainder of the positions: “We’re not hiring all those people, all at once,” deJong said.
The ordinance will be up for a public hearing and second, final vote at the Feb. 27 council meeting.