Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor Leader

Little Egg Harbor Police Don New Bulletproof Vests

Feb 01, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson BOATERS’ DELIGHT: The dredging of Osborn Island lagoons is wrapping up in Little Egg Harbor. Island waterfront residents will pay a special property tax assessment to share the cost.

Little Egg Harbor’s police department has a new look.

Capt. Jim Hawkins showed off the new look by having a patrolman model the new bulletproof vest that is worn on the outside of the uniform rather than inside.

“We’ve always worn a vest but it was inside and it put the weight around the waist. This redistributes the weight to the torso,” Hawkins told the township committee during their Jan. 24 municipal meeting.

Besides radios, police carry additional lifesaving equipment, including a tourniquet that two officers were able to put into use: one when a woman cut her wrist with a chop saw and the other when a resident accidentally shot himself in his leg. Patrolmen Chris Myers and Steve Mancine were the heroes.

Committeewoman Lisa Stevens asked if the police department was considering body cameras for their officers. Hawkins said that now the department has received new accreditation and a new radio system, they might consider obtaining body cameras and also tasers.

“We’re looking into areas to help our guys on the street,” he said.

Hawkins wanted to thank the residents in Cranberry Creek during a hostage situation right before Christmas. A woman’s son went berserk and destroyed the inside of her home before surrendering to police.

“Two of our officers stayed and cleaned up the mess, and put the Christmas tree back up,” the captain reported.

Deputy Mayor John Kehm congratulated Hawkins on completing a New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association Command and Leadership Academy course. Hawkins said he was the first from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department to complete the weekly 10-hour course for 14 weeks, but he won’t be the last.

“It’s modeled after the leadership of West Point. Our whole command staff will attend the course.”

Routine township business was kept to a minimum this night. Three ordinances were introduced: 2019-01 repeals the prior salary ordinance schedule and replaces it with the new; 2019-02 changes the ordinance dealing with vehicles and traffic, by allowing trucks up to 12,000 pounds to park on town streets overnight; 2019-03 allows vehicles up to 12,000 pounds to park in driveways, and gives police, as well as the code enforcement officer, authority to enforce this law. The previous weight limit was 8,000 pounds.

The second reading and adoption of the ordinances is scheduled Feb. 21.

The township committee voted to approve the unused sick and vacation time of George Sauer, who was a township public works employee since 1990, and the superintendent of public works for the last four years. He will take $40,725 in one lump sum.

Township Engineer Jason Worth said dredging of Osborn Island lagoons is wrapping up. The contractor, Wickberg Marine Contracting of Bedford, worked through bad weather but still needs a few more days to finish work a NJ Department of Environmental Protection grant covers.

After the meeting, Ed Andrew, a member of the Osborn Island Residents Association dredging committee, said the islanders were pleased with how the work had progressed. Andrew said approximately 17 tons of mud was disposed of, with some yet to be trucked away. He hoped the figures for the special tax assessment would be favorable to the residents.

In some places, the depth of the lagoons is now 5 feet during mean low water – a marked improvement.

“Now we have to get the word out so our property values can rise,” he said.

Mayor Bobbi Jo Crea announced she held a successful “Meet the Mayor” night at the Little Egg Harbor branch of the Ocean County Library. She plans to host another on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.

The committee held a Community Development Block Grant meeting previous to the municipal business meeting, and approved applying for sidewalks in the vicinity of the Edward Thornton Community Center on West Calabreeze Way. Worth said the township could apply for $30,000.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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