Twenty men will join Atlantic City’ s Police Department as its first Special Law Enforcement Officer IIs, known as Class II officers.
The officers will graduate 4 p.m. Wednesday as part of the 41st Basic Course for Class II Police Officers’ graduation ceremony at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center, 212 Bayberry Lane, Cape May Court House.
This is the first time Atlantic City will employ these officers — a summer staple in other shore towns, such as Wildwood and Ocean City. They have similar powers to full-time police but are paid an hourly rate rather than salaried, which eliminates taxpayer-funded benefits or pension payments.
After Wednesday’s graduation from the Cape May County Police Academy, they will begin the necessary steps to get on the street by July Fourth, police Chief Ernest Jubilee said.
The city plans to have the Class II officers patrol the less dangerous areas, such as the Boardwalk, freeing up full-time veteran officers to supplement staffing in the more crime-ridden areas.
“It’s very important,” Jubilee said. “It helps us deliver service better, and it will allow us to redeploy our regular officers into the neighborhoods.”
The original plan was to have 25 Class IIs. In April, 26 were sworn in to attend the academy. Six have been lost since then.
Jubilee said there are no plans to fill those positions right now, but it could be an option when another academy training course begins in the fall. That would be up to the administration.
The plan also is to keep the officers on year-round, although their hours will lessen — under the law — when the summer season ends. Seasonal Class IIs can work as many as 48 hours a week. During the rest of the year, their weekly limit falls to 20 hours.
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