NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - It was a job that for years was a perfect fit for a retired city police officer: providing a security presence in the municipal court and having the authority to carry a gun.
The the last officer to fill that post in court finally left, and for more than a year the city had to assign a regular officer to the duty.
City leaders last month moved to change that system, creating the position of Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II, who will be assigned to the municipal court.
This will end the need to have a full-time sworn city officer in the courtroom.
City council members passed an ordinance establishing the Class II because New Brunswick had not previously needed the position, officials said.
Under the ordinance, an officer will be appointed for a one-year term, and hired at an hourly rate, working 20 hours per week.
The officer must meet all state qualifications of a special officer, and city residents will be given preference for the job, but the person will only be permitted to carry a firearm while on duty.
In a separate action concerning the municipal courts, council members approved contracts to provide interpreters during the court sessions for this year.
Council members approved a $50,000 allocation to contracts for companies that will provide interpreters for 2019 to assist defendants whose primary language is something other than English.
Often people coming to the city's court need an interpreter that speaks Spanish.