Hightstown Borough Mayor Steven Kirson swore in three new, full-time police officers during the borough council meeting Monday night.
The borough appointed Kenneth A. Larsen of Egg Harbor, NJ, Philip J. Esposito of Monroe Township, NJ, and Ronald J. Stephensen of Forked River, NJ during a swearing in ceremony. Family and members of the Hightstown Police Department attended to show their support.
“We wish long, successful careers to the three new gentlemen who just joined us tonight,” said Kirson.
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. Le Tellier said he intends to enroll Esposito and Stephensen at the Mercer County Police Academy.
Le Tellier said during the Oct. 1 council meeting 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.
He said with the additional officers, Hightstown will see more foot patrols downtown.
The borough council expressed their support for the new officers during Monday night’s council meeting.
“In regards to the new police officers, knowing where we were two years ago to the day, to have them sworn in tonight was just a huge plus,” said Councilwoman Selena Bibens.
“We went leaps and bounds in a short time, and it’s nice to see we can do something like that,” said Councilman Lawrence Quattrone.