Seaside Heights special police officers should have a larger role than simply doling out parking violations, borough officials believe.
While they’ll still have meter duty, the role of the oft-rookie cops will be expanded in an important way this season: community policing.
“Once they stop a meter patrol, instead of clustering together, they’ll go down each street and talk to the people,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz.
Special police officers are divided into two classes: “class ones” are not armed while “class twos” carry a weapon. Historically, class one officers in Seaside Heights have enforced parking meters and dealt with boardwalk and code violations, but this year their mission will be expanded.
It’s part of the borough’s quest to become a more family-friendly community, where residents know police officers and police officers know residents, Vaz said.
“I think it’s good ambasadorship, people knowing they’re being observed by the police department,” said Vaz, who has placed a strong emphasis on public safety since taking office last year.
This year, the borough has hired 46 class one officers for the summer season. They graduated from a special police academy last week.