The Vernon Township Council on Sept. 13 unanimously approved an ordinance that will allow the township to hire police officers that have completed training without having to take an exam.
The ordinance allows probationary police officers to be appointed without taking a competitive examination if they have successfully completed a full Basic Course for Police Officers training course at a school that is approved and authorized by the New Jersey Police Training Commission.
“This is another tool in my toolbox to mirror what other towns are doing,” Police Chief Dan Young said.
For example, Young said if three police officers left Vernon Township for another agency, he can’t stop them, but without this ordinance would be forced to go to the Civil Service list for a replacement candidate.
This ordinance would allow him to hire an officer from another municipality.
“If we find an individual who has already gone through the Academy, or even in the process of going through the Academy, if we can offer that person the job and you get that person, we’ll get the person that’s taken all of the tests that every other police offers in the state of New Jersey has,” Burrell said. “The real big difference, then is that we don’t have to pay the Academy bills, which is somewhat expensive.”
President Harry Shortway said the measure does not lower the standards but saves the taxpayers’ money because the township can hire someone who has gone through the academy.
“This is an opportunity for (the chief) to have a lot of ownership over who is hired and making sure it’s successful,” Councilman Andrew Pitsker said. “We have a great police force, and I’ve got to trust that chief’s going to do the right thing here. And this ordinance pretty well outlines the details to it. There’s a lot of requirements that are going behind this.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from a previous version and reflects the most current iteration of the story.