The above photo depicts (in no particular order) members of the Lacey Township Committee, the Lacey Township Board of Education, and the Lacey Township Police Department, including the three new Class III Special Officers hired for the school district. The Class III Special Officers began working in the school district this past September. The photo was taken during the October 11, 2018 Township meeting.
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. I immediately began working with Superintendent Craig Wigley (retired), Superintendent Vanessa Clark, School Business Administrator Patrick DeGeorge, Board President Robert Klaus, Board Member David Silletti, and Lacey Township Committeeman Gary Quinn. As a result of working together, the Lacey Township Police Department and the Lacey Township Board of Education introduced our first ever full-time school resource officer (SRO) to the district in September 2017. SRO Detective Charles May was assigned full-time to the Lacey Township High School, where amongst other duties, he provided safety and security. 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. On August 20, 2018, I introduced three special officers at the Board of Education meeting and they began working in the school district in September. The three special officers introduced at the board meeting include:
Officer Michael Caputo, retired Chief of Police from the Tuckerton Borough Police Department. He served 30 years in law enforcement, is a graduate of the West Point Command and Leadership School, and is currently an instructor at the Ocean County Police Academy. Officer Caputo is a firearms instructor and a past President of the Ocean County Chiefs of Police Association.
Officer Robert Johnson, retired from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department. He served the majority of his career as a member of the SWAT Team, and was assigned to both the Warrants Division and the Crime Scene Unit. Prior to working for the OCSD, he was employed by the Berkeley Township Police Department as a police dispatcher. He was a member of the United States Navy.
Officer Rogerio (Roger) Santos, retired from the Belleville Police Department after 21 years of service. He was primarily assigned to the patrol division. Prior to working for the Belleville Police Department, Officer Santos was employed as a police officer for the City of Newark. He was a member of the United States Marines where he received an award for being an expert rifleman. Officer Santos is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
All three of these officers have quickly become assets to Lacey Township.
On the evening of October 25, 2018, the Lacey Township Police Department hired an additional Class III Special Officer for the school district. Officer Stephen Russell, a retired police sergeant from the Toms River Township Police Department has joined the ranks to provide safety and security at our schools.
With the addition of the Class III Officers, Detective May’s responsibilities have been enhanced. Amongst other duties, he has been assigned as the SRO for all six of our schools in the district. Detective May is also the primary instructor for the L.E.A.D. Program (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) being taught at the Mill Pond School.
I would like to add that in addition to the Class III Special Officers, the Lacey Township School District employs two retired police officers as armed security.
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.
I would like to thank Committeeman Gary Quinn, Superintendent Vanessa Clark, School Business Administrator Pat DeGeorge, Board President Robert Klaus, and Board Member David Silletti. Clearly, this would not have been possible without all of their hard work and support. Thank you.
–Chief Michael C. DiBella