LONG BRANCH: The city is taking steps to build its police department back up after losing several officers a few years ago.
The city cut 37 positions in 2011 including nine police officers in a cost cutting move that saved about $2.8 million.
“We’re now in a position where we can hire three new officers,” Councilman Michael Sirianni said at the July 22 Long Branch Council meeting.
Long Branch Director of Public Safety Jason Roebuck said after the meeting that the three new officers will be sworn in on Aug. 1 at a 2 p.m. ceremony at Long Branch City Hall.
Roebuck said two of the new officers served as special officers in Long Branch and that the third is an Oceanport police officer. The Oceanport officer previously served as a special officer in Long Branch.
Roebuck also announced that city’s street crimes unit will be run full-time once the new officers are hired.
“With the promotions we are doing we are going to run the unit full time, up to this point it’s been a little bit on a little bit off,” Roebuck said. “They concentrate on street-level narcotics, investigations that include search warrants…late night if a house gets broken into, we can send them that night,” Roebuck said.
Roebuck said the unit would also be a part of major investigations such as shootings.
The unit will be comprised of a lieutenant and two detectives, but Roebuck said other police officers will be “rotated in.”