The Washington Township Committee gave the local police department approval to hire two new officers and begin the training academy in January of 2014.
Chief Michael Bailey requested two new hires be made at the governing body’s September meeting after the committee approved the resignation of officer Susan Gilligan, effective Nov. 1.
Along with Gilligan’s resignation due to medical issues, Lt. Art Adams will no longer be in the office as of the same date due to retirement. Bailey was eligible to retire over the summer but has remained on the force.
Another longtime officer, Sgt. Earl Barnes, will be eligible to retire in July 2014.
Two new officers were hired in 2013 to replace officer Peter Cecere, who was forced into early retirement after being injured while on duty in 2012, and to make up for lost personnel once Bailey retired.
Gilligan has been on leave since the spring, Bailey said, so the extra officer has essentially taken her place.
The hiring of a third officer is being considered, according to township administrator Andrew Coppola, but not for the upcoming academy. Instead, if the committee decides to bring on another officer, he or she would enter the training academy in July.
There are currently 28 active members of the police force, with Gilligan making 29. Once Nov. 1 rolls around, the force will be reduced to 27.
Despite the fluctuation in officers, the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Report showed this month that crime has been down one-third in 2013 compared to 2012.