EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Township Committee formally appointed three new police officers and one Class II police officer at its meeting Wednesday, as the municipality continues to augment its police force from earlier lows.

The township Police Department is authorized to have 92 officers, township Administrator Peter Miller said. The department was at that level in 2009, but township financial issues coupled with retirements and resignations dropped manpower to 78 officers by January 2011.

Wednesday's appointments brought staffing to 84 officers, Miller said.

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Township Committee unanimously appointed Edward W. Stearns, Benjamin J. Krollman and Raymond S. Wilson III to the Police Department at $38,851 a year, according to the approved resolution. They will now seek police academy training, committee members said.

"You now have an opportunity to join what I consider is one of the best municipal police departments in the country," Mayor James "Sonny" McCullough said in a short ceremony.

"You're much needed and very welcome," added township police Capt. Chris Ruef.

The committee also named Paul Janetta Jr. as a special, Class II, officer at $19 an hour, effective July 29, in a separate resolution.

Class II officers are frequently used by municipalities as interim officers. They must surrender their gun at the end of the shift and may not exercise police powers outside of their jurisdiction.

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