UNION, NJ –Union’s mayor and committee members unanimously approved a resolution at the last Township Committee meeting urging Kean University to immediately restore the full complement of public safety officers by hiring approximately 12 officers.
The resolution states that Kean University has been operating for almost two years with less than the 30 officers their Table of Organization calls for and that within the last two years Kean has reduced the number of officers to no more than 18.
The resolution continues, “the shortage of officers not only impacts Kean University’s quality of life, the failure to properly staff the public safety department has also impacted the Township of Union’s Police Department”. According to the resolution, calls for service to Union’s police have increased approximately 20% over the previous year. “The taxpayers of the Township of Union should not have to pay for its police department to respond to Kean University’s call for services”, reads the resolution.
“The Kean Police Department works alongside more than a dozen Kean security officers and additional outside security contractors to ensure that our campus remains one of the safest in America,” said Kean University’s Director of Media Relations Margaret McCorry. “Kean PD is working diligently to recruit and train officers to fill openings left by those who have moved on to more lucrative positions or left for other reasons.”
According to the resolution, the New Jersey State PBA has recently declared that the shortage of campus police officers has resulted in an increase in crime and a decrease in employee morale. The resolution states that nationally, statistics have shown that a decrease in the number of police officers in a municipality or geographic area equates to an increase in the crime rate.
“While the University values its cooperative relationships with outside law enforcement agencies, the police and security staff continue to handle all routine law enforcement matters on our campus,” added McCorry. “Any suggestion otherwise is misleading.”