CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Township Committee approved the hiring of the former Montville Township Chief of Police, Rudy Appelmann, as an armed Class III Special Law Enforcement Officer during its executive session on Thursday night.
Chatham Township Police Chief Thomas Miller led the search for the special officer who will split his time between schools located in Chatham Township - Chatham High, Lafayette and Southern Boulevard.
Appelmann retired from the Montville Township Police Department in December. He has training in DARE/ LEAD, emergency management, first aid, active shooter, CPR, and the juvenile detective unit.
The announcement from Chatham Superintendent Michael LaSusa is below:
I hope that you are enjoying the spring weather! As you know, our Board of Education and school district administration have been evaluating our safety and security protocols over the past year. One of the recommendations I have made to the Board is to utilize Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers. This is a special position created by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Christie in 2016 to help schools achieve a greater level of safety and security for students and staff. A Class III officer is a sworn officer who has received special training and is assigned to the schools within the municipality of the local police department.
In the fall, Chatham Township Police Chief Tom Miller and Chatham Borough Police Chief Brian Gibbons attended our October 1 Board Meeting to discuss the potential employment of Class III police officers in the school district. In December, our Board of Education and the Chatham Township Committee approved a shared services agreement. Chief Miller has led a search process for a qualified Class III officer and has involved me, CHS Principal Darren Groh, and LAF Assistant Principal Marco Freyre in the process. I am very happy to report that tonight the Township Committee approved Mr. Rudy Appelmann as a Class III officer for our schools located within Chatham Township (CHS, LAF, and SBS).
Mr. Appelmann (pictured right) retired as the Chief of Police in Montville Township this past December and has training in DARE/ LEAD, emergency management, first aid, active shooter, CPR, juvenile detective unit, and more. In Montville, he was closely involved in working with the school district to increase police presence in the schools, including the use of Class III officers. We anticipate that Chief Appelmann will begin working at our schools by spring break (April 15), and be stationed primarily at Chatham High School. Mr. Groh and our other principals will introduce Chief Appelmann to students and ensure that there are opportunities for students to meet with him. As our police chiefs explained on October 1, our Class III officer(s) will not be involved in student discipline or in criminal investigations of students. Rather, the Class III officer will be a law enforcement presence in our schools and respond to any emergency that could arise—evacuation of a school, medical emergency, visitor against whom there is an active restraining order, and so forth. We believe that Chief Appelmann will be an asset to our school community.
The Chatham Borough Council has also approved an ordinance establishing the position of Class III officer. We are working with the Borough at present to approve a shared services agreement and then move forward with the selection process for a Class III officer for our schools located within the Borough (CMS, MAS, and WAS). I will communicate more information about that process as I have it.