Police & Fire

Special Police Officers Approved for Fair Lawn Middle Schools in September

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FAIR LAWN - The Borough Council approved retired police officers permanently stationed at each middle school.

On Aug. 15, the council unanimously approved an amended ordinance to include Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers who have the same training as regular duty officers.

The council began discussing the idea in the beginning of the summer, stating the officers would be permanently posted at TJ and Memorial Middle Schools in September.

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Police Chief Glen Cauwels said officers perform walk-throughs at each school currently, so this would be beneficial for reducing time the current force spends at the middle schools.

Whether there are routine walk-throughs or calls of service, theft, suspicious activity or a juvenile call, they take up man-hours for the department.

From calls for gun violence to strangers roaming the halls, Chief Cauwels said the special officers make safety and financial sense.

The first year will cost approximately $120,000, which would be split evenly between the Board of Education and the municipality, according to borough manager James Van Kruiningen. The cost includes uniforms, equipment and an older car for use by the officer, but not equipped the same as a current official police street vehicle, thus reducing the cost.

The second year is projected at $90,000. The negotiated split between the board and the municipality has yet to be determined.

The positions are considered part time and pay $30 per hour. There are no health benefits and no paid time off. Neither the Board of Education nor the municipality will incur pension costs. The Board of Education will be billed quarterly for the part time employees.

The high school currently has an officer stationed in the school and has for many years but the designation is different, although all officers have the same training.

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