Just months after issuing layoff notices to three police officers, the township expects to fill a vacancy left by a retirement in the police department—possibly with one of the laid-off officers.
“The intent is certainly not to further deplete the manpower that we have,” Public Safety Liaison Frank DelCore said. “We expect that there is going to be an officer retirement coming up shortly. The plan is to ensure that we have some continuation of manpower at the current levels. This is really just to start the process in anticipation of that retirement.“
“I think it is the right thing to do,” he added.
The Township Committee unanimously accepted a resolution allowing Police Chief Paul Kaminsky to begin the hiring process for one officer. According to the resolution, at least one member of the department is out on disability and is due to retire.
The name of the officer who is expected to retire was not released.
The resolution comes two months after negotiations with the Policeman Benevolent Association Local 205 failed to produce a contract agreement by the township’s budget deadline. The resulting deadlock meant officers Keri Schultz, Chris Giraldi and Pedro Rodriguez were issued layoff notices on May 11 at 12:01 a.m.
While the township knew about the retirement possibility, it’s become more likely to happen soon, officials said.
“There was an understanding that that could be coming,” DelCore said. “Now, it’s more imminent.
“It won’t affect negotiations,” he added. “It’s basically a replacement. The staffing would be the same as current levels.”
Filling the vacancy with one of the officers who received a layoff notice is a possibility. DelCore could not say which of the officers would be rehired, since he was unsure which of the three had served longest.
“As per our normal course, the process would be to go through an order of seniority, where we went from the most senior officer to the least senior officer,” he said.