BARNEGAT – Barnegat’s police force has just increased by four, bringing the total number of officers to 49. At a recent Township Committee meeting, township officials swore in four new officers: Kristopher Burke of Barnegat, John Halliday of Lanoka Harbor, Richard Boyle III of Manahawkin, and Kevin Mason of Barnegat.
Three of these new officers are certified by the New Jersey Police Training Commission and are expected to begin the 10-week field training program immediately. The fourth officer, Kristopher Burke, is not yet certified but was scheduled to begin training at the Ocean County Police Academy on Sept. 21.
“I commend the Township Committee and Township Administrator (Martin) Lisella for being proactive in supporting the police department and maintaining a commitment to proper police staffing and the safety of our residents,” Police Chief Keith Germain said.
These individuals were chosen through a highly competitive process out of 360 applicants, the department stated. Applicants underwent a written exam, physical exam, and interview.
Now at 49 officers, Barnegat Police is staffed to provide 2.1 officers per thousand residents in the township.
“We know historically that whenever our agency has been at or above a ratio of 2 officers per thousand residents, the crime rate has gone down. Conversely, whenever the ratio has fallen below 2 officers per thousand, the crime rate has gone up,” said Chief Keith Germain.
Burke has been a veteran of the Barnegat Police Department for the past 11 years as a civilian. He worked as both a dispatcher and confidential aide. Burke will be attending the Ocean County Police Academy in September to achieve his certification as a patrol officer.
Halliday is from Lanoka Harbor. Previously, he served as a Class I special officer for the Seaside Heights Police Department and as a Class II special officer with the Pine Beach Police Department.
Richard Boyle III of Manahawkin served as a Class I and Class II police officer with the Stone Harbor Police Department before being hired as a full-time police officer with the Galloway Police Department. He is a certified Drug Recognition Expert, is SWAT trained, and served as a member of the Atlantic County Regional SWAT team.
Kevin Mason, also from Barnegat, previously served as a Class I special officer for the Seaside Park Police Department.