Five new police officers, all Berkeley Township residents, will be sworn in at a ceremony in Town Hall on Feb. 7, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
All of the men passed psychological tests and background checks last week, the mayor said at the Jan. 31 Township Council meeting.
"It's important we get them on board now," Amato said.
The five will replace veteran police officers who are retiring soon or have already retired. They will start at the Ocean County Police Academy on Feb. 9, he said.
South Seaside Park resident Donald Whiteman asked if any of the candidates were local.
"They are all local," Amato said. "They are all Central Regional graduates, they all live in Berkeley Township."
The five are Taylor Butler, Alfred Foca, Shawn Bowens, Scott Rudolph and Jonathan Mulvihill, he said.
The township hired three officers early last September. The number of Berkeley police officers once hovered around 74, but that number has since dropped to around 66 due to retirements.
The latest officers to step down include Patrolman Edward DeMott III, Detective James Smit, and Patrolman Daniel Stauffer, Amato said.
No one at the Jan. 31 meeting questioned the need for more officers, unlike the Jan. 17 meeting.
The officers hired in September included Michael Tier, 26, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a 1st Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Reserves; Robert Ashton, 37, a Marine veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom; and Michael Tanis, 32, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, where he runs the Army's Salerno base military police department.
Tier is already on the road. Ashton is in the Ocean County Police Academy. Tanis' tour of duty will end in October, Amato said.
The swearing-in ceremony will get underway at 1 p.m. in Town Hall on Feb. 7.