Even though Princeton Borough and Princeton Township will be merged in a little more than a year and their two police forces will become one, the township plans to move ahead with the hiring of new police officers.
The Princeton Township Police Department currently has three vacancies. Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner said in an e-mail exchange today that two of the three vacancies will be filled.
“We have three vacancies and are looking to fill two of them with an emphasis on minority candidates to make sure that we keep a diverse force,” Goerner wrote. “We are at 26 officers, less than the 30 identified by the consolidation commission, and with the two patrol officers we would work our way up to 28.”
In the consolidation commission’s report, the township and the borough each are listed as being able to have up to 30 police officers. The consolidation commission’s recommendation was that the united police force eventually be reduced to 51 officers total. That is expected to take place about three years in to the merger.
The reduction in force is expected to take place through attrition when officers retire.
Vacancies on the township police force were created after former police chief Mark Emann and two other officers, Lt. Michael Henderson and Corporal Arthur Villaruz, left the force earlier this year amid allegations that Emann took an antique weapon that was in the department’s property and traded it in at a gun shop for a rifle and revolver for his own personal use.
The township promoted Robert Buchanan to chief after Emann retired, and a handful of other officers were promoted.