Cranbury Police Lose Two Officers to Retirement
Overtime will be used to fill gaps until the positions are approved to be replaced.
Two members of the Cranbury Township Police Department are retiring, effective today, and the department will be asking officers to work overtime to fill the gap left by the retirements.
“Anytime an officer is out on vacation, in training, out sick, on personal leave, handling warrants or traffic stops we can’t leave one officer in town, and so we will have to use overtime and that becomes an astronomical number and there is no way around it,” said Police Chief Rickey Varga.
Detective Sergeant Peter Ziegler and Patrolman William Simpkin are retiring from the department, leaving 15 members, including Varga.
The overtime is likely temporary, with the Chief planning to ask the Township’s budget committee in January to replace the two positions.
“We were already running at minimum staffing levels, and that was before these retirements,” Varga said.
Township Committee Member Jay Taylor, who serves as Police Liaison said filling the vacancies would save the Township money instead of using overtime, according to his calculations.
“It [overtime] will put a strain on our police force. It will definitely increase man hours because we will have to figure out how to get an officer in on overtime to cover the town while existing officers respond to a call,” Taylor said.
In 2010 there was an increase of 600 calls to police compared to the previous year, Varga said.