Column as submitted by Mayor Thomas Kelaher:
In previous articles, I have explored the operation of our township by highlighting our various departments such as our Public Works Department and Parks, Buildings and Grounds. In this issue I would like to write about the Toms River Police Department.
Toms River is the seventh largest municipality of 565 municipalities in the State of New Jersey and as such requires a police department capable of handling the responsibility of patrolling 44 square miles from the beaches on the barrier island to the western edges of the town at the Manchester and Lakewood Township boundaries. Included within that 44 square miles are approximately 400 miles of township roads and approximately 200 miles of State and County roads.
To meet this responsibility, the police department has an authorized strength of 160 officers. Without a doubt, Toms River has one of the most efficient, modern and well-equipped police departments in the State of New Jersey.
Since Toms River is no longer a small village, it must now be able to confront all the challenges of major municipal police departments. In order to do this, the department organizational structure reflects a break-down of the various units necessary to accomplish its mission.
A review of the chart will show that the following units are available to meet any eventuality:
- Detective Bureau
- Emergency Service Unit
- Patrol Division
- Dive Team
- Traffic Safety Division
- Motorcycle Unit
- Bicycle Patrol
- School Resource Officer
The above organization allows the police department to perform all the essential police services and also devote attention to special ancillary services such as crossing guards, auxiliary police, senior services and sponsorship of an explorer post of the scouting program.
As some indication of the volume of work the Toms River Police Department for the year 2011 responded to 78,039 calls for assistance. These calls included criminal activity such as armed robbery, assaults burglaries, fire and burglar alarms, first aid calls, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence situations and missing children.
Because of recent and pending retirements, the Department has scheduled a test for new recruits to be given in September of 2012. The test is comprised of a written exam, physical task assessment and swimming test.
To be eligible, a candidate must be between the ages of 18 and 34 at the time of the application and have either a four-year degree, or a minimum of 64 college credits and 2 years of full-time active duty military experience or 2 years of full time regular police experience at the time the application is submitted.
The starting salary for applicants entering the police academy is $40,000. Application cut-off date is August 31, 2012.
The future of the department looks bright indeed. Two of our superior officers, Captain Steve Henry and Lt. Mike Brosnan are graduates of the FBI National Academy at the U.S. Marine Base in Quantico, VA. This prestigious school trains police officers from around the world in best practices for police department management and command responsibility.
For additional information, call the Toms River Police Department at 732-349-0150 or go to www.trpolice.org.