The purpose of this communication is to inform you that the Class 3 Officer Program will continue this school year. Eatontown Public Schools is thankful for the strong partnership that exists between the Eatontown Police Department and Eatontown Borough that enabled this additional layer of security to be provided for our schools. In addition, the Eatontown Board of Education and Eatontown Borough Mayor and Council played a crucial role in making this program a reality. Special thanks to Chief Lucia who helped develop this program for our schools and serves as the direct supervisor of the Class 3 Officers.
As a quick but important reminder, the sole responsibility of the Class 3 Officer Program is to provide greater occupant safety and building security for the schools. In simple terms, the Class 3 Officers provide a trained, experienced law enforcement presence in the schools to protect from significant outside threats. Class 3 Officers work in conjunction with the police department and schools in order to respond swiftly and cooperatively when there are substantial disruptions or criminal offenses occurring at the schools.
Class 3 Officers are retired law enforcement officers who are hired and trained by the local police department. The Class 3 Officers are an armed presence in the schools who will wear a uniform indicating he or she is a member of the Eatontown Police Department. The value of having these individuals in the schools is that they are experienced, trained law enforcement officials who work in concert with the local police department and the schools. I am proud to announce that Officer Michael McGowan and Officer David Hicks will be the Class 3 Officers at the schools this year. Officers McGowan and Hicks are experienced and highly trained police officers who have recently retired from full-time police work in Monmouth County.
It is worth noting that Class 3 Officers are not meant to become involved in the daily business and management of the schools. Administrators, teachers, and support staff continue to be responsible for handling the daily operations of the schools and classrooms including routine disciplinary matters. The Class 3 Officer’s role is to provide an additional layer of school security. The Class 3 Officer Program requires careful vetting of candidates, clearly articulated roles and responsibilities, routine and appropriate training, and high levels of communication between the schools and police department.
Over the years, Eatontown Public Schools and the Eatontown Police Department have enjoyed a very collaborative and cooperative relationship. Both organizations understand the value of keeping students and staff safe within a supportive social and emotional learning environment. The Eatontown Police Department is an appreciated presence in our schools and has been instrumental in many successful school programs such as L.E.A.D and the Cops vs. Kids Basketball and Soccer games. The goal is to extend this relationship in order to protect students and staff even more effectively in the future.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Be well.
Scott T. McCue
Superintendent of Schools