First Posted: 12/3/2013
EXETER — Borough Council hired five part-time police officers during Tuesday night’s meeting.
The new hires increase the municipal police force to 14 officers, four of whom are work full-tme.
Police Chief John McNeil justified the hires by noting that the borough, until the past several years, regularly maintained a reserve of nine or 10 officers to serve on an as-needed basis.
Four of the five new officers — Sara Chmielewski, Kara Kroll, Anthony Mercado and Rolando Alers — were hired unanimously, while Eric Eramo was hired by a vote of 4-3.
Council members Denise Adams, Betty Ann DeRoberto, John Morgan and Joseph Pizano all voted in favor. Larry Dellegrotto, Joseph Esposito and Thomas Shannon voted against the hire.
After the meeting, Shannon said his objection was rooted in Eramo’s lack of training. Although he is fully certified, he has never worked any other communities, has not been trained on the department’s computer system and has not rode along with a senior officer to familiarize himself with the community, Shannon said.
In other matters, DeRoberto said goodbye to her fellow council members, noting her intention was to only fill out the remainder of the unexpired term of her late husband, Daniel DeRoberto, who died in November 2011.
“It meant everything to him,” she said of his service to the community. “I just hope I was able to make him proud.”
The remarks were met with a standing ovation from the council and all in attendance.
The council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 to pass the 2014 budget.