LACEY – Lacey Township School District has just received more Class III Special Officers, according to Chief Michael DiBella.
“Since becoming the Chief of Police in 2016, one of my top priorities has been enhancing the safety and security of our schools, students, and staff,” stated DiBella.
Since that time, DiBella noted that he joined forces with members of the Lacey Township School Board and Lacey Township Committee to make some changes, which came to fruition with the implementation of the first ever full-time school resource officer (SRO) in September 2017. Stationed at Lacey High School, SRO Detective Charles May is tasked with providing safety and security to students and staff.
“In a continued effort to enhance security this past year, the Lacey Township Police Department and the Lacey Township Board of Education worked together to hire and place Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers in our school district,” added DiBella.
In August 2018, three Class III Special officers were added to the district including Officer Michael Caputo, Officer Robert Johnson, and Officer Rogerio (Roger) Santos.
Officer Caputo is a retired Chief of Police from the Tuckerton Borough Police Department. Caputo has 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, and is a graduate of West Point Command and Leadership School, an instructor at the Ocean County Police Academy, a firearms instructor and a past President of the Ocean County Chiefs of Police Association.
Officer Johnson is a retired officer from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department. Serving as a long-time member of the SWAT Team, Johnson was assigned to both the Warrants Division and the Crime Scene Unit. Prior to this he was a police dispatcher for the Berkeley Township Police Department and a member of the United States Navy.
Officer Santos is a retired officer from the Belleville Police Department. During his 21 years of service, he was primarily assigned to the patrol division. Prior to working for the Belleville Police Department, Santos was an officer in Newark. He was also a member of the United States Marines where he received an award for being an expert rifleman.
“All three of these officers have quickly become assets to Lacey Township,” stated the chief.
In addition to these three, Officer Stephen Russell was added to the district as another Class III Special Officer as of Oct. 25. Officer Russell is a retired police sergeant from the Toms River Township Police Department.
Since the addition of the Class III Officers, SRO Detective Charles May has been assigned as the SRO for all six schools in the district and the primary instructor for the LEAD Program (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) at the Mill Pond School.
Not only does Lacey now boast four Class III officers and an SRO, but it also employs two retired officers as armed security to enhance safety and security of students and staff.
“The Lacey Township Police Department and the Lacey Township Board of Education will continue working together to further enhance the safety and security of our students and staff,” DiBella said.