The Hightstown Borough Council passed two resolutions Monday that ratify some changes for borough emergency services.
Lieutenant Chad Reed, a Hightstown resident who currently serves the borough as fire inspector, was appointed fire official with overwhelming support from the borough council.
“He works hard and is serious about his responsibilities, and we’re really happy to have him stay here and work for the borough,” said Hightstown Borough Mayor Steven Kirson during the council meeting.
The amended resolution appointing Reed passed 6-0 and called for Reed to receive an hourly rate of $25. According to the resolution, Kevin Brink was appointed as an interim fire official on Feb. 22, 2011 due to the resignation of Thomas Murray. Reed would take over role of fire official effective Oct. 1.
The council passed another resolution authorizing the borough to hire three new, full-time police officers.
Police Director James Le Tellier recommended the borough council appoint Kenneth A. Larsen of Egg Harbor, NJ, Philip J. Esposito of Monroe Township, NJ, and Ronald J. Stephensen of Forked River, NJ.
Larsen is already a full-time police officer who will require no further training and will replace Officer David Chenoweth upon his retirement.
Esposito and Stephensen are certified Class II officers who will require a waiver issued by the New Jersey Police Training Commission. According to the resolution, the PTC issue waivers to officers who have graduated from a PTC approved academy and who require a few courses of instruction for full certification. Esposito and Stephensen’s employment will be conditioned upon their qualifying for PTC waivers.
Le Tellier said he intends to enroll the officers at the Mercer County Police Academy in the immediate future, since classes at the academy began Oct. 1.
Chenoweth will be leaving behind a salary of approximately $98,000 annually, Le Tellier said, and the new hires will each be compensated $45,000 annually. Le Tellier also said two additional officers would cut down overtime by almost 90 percent, ultimately adding up to significant savings for the department in the long run.
Le Tellier said the evaluation process for the positions was very thorough, as the department had to narrow down their selections from about 47 applicants. A committee comprised of Le Tellier, Lt. Frank Gendron, Officer Janine Krupa, and Officer Frank Jimenez interviewed and investigated the candidates.
Le Tellier said he made sure the process was thorough so he could confidently give the three chosen officers his “stamp of approval.”
“I feel confident that they are going to represent this community with the highest standards,” Le Tellier said.
Le Tellier recommended the officers be officially sworn in at the next council meeting on Oct. 16.