Nutley Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco has announced that he has increased to three the number of special police officers to augment patrol officers. Previously, the township had only one.
According to Petracco, the special officers receive similar schooling to that provided regular police, including motor vehicle law, use of force, fingerprinting and firearms training, but they are paid at an hourly rate with no health or pensions benefits, “thus offering a tremendous savings to the police budget and taxpayer.”
“The mission of special police officers is to supplement the patrol division in a cost-effective manner,” said Petracco. “With the state mandating a 2% cap on municipal taxes, it has become imperative for us to find ways of stretching our budgets in creative ways. The addition of these officers helps the Police Department stabilize their budget, but it also increases the number of officers on the streets.”
According to the commissioner, the officers will handle a variety of assignments, including police service calls, traffic posts, court security and school posts, helping to free up full-time officers to handle other safety issues.
They will, he said, be an integral part of the “increased patrol protection” that is currently in force in the township.