The Barnegat Police Department's roster now stands at 43, after two officers were hired at the Oct. 21 Barnegat Township Committee meeting.
Brett Taylor, 34, of Toms
River and Stephen Russoniello, 30, of Lakewood, will start training at the Monmouth County Police Academy in January, Police Chief Arthur P. Drexler said.
Taylor and Russoniello
are the first full-time police officers hired by Barnegat since 2009.
The department - which peaked at 47 officers - stood at 41 before the two were hired. Six officers retired over the past few years, Drexler said.
The new officers came in first and second out of more than 250 applicants. They went through a written examination, a grueling physical fitness test and oral interviews, conducted in compliance with CALEA accreditation standards, the chief said.
Taylor was a social studies teacher and assistant varsity wrestling coach
for Toms River High School East for the past 10 years. He has a
bachelor of arts degree in history from Rutgers University and a master
of arts degree in urban education from New Jersey City University.
Russoniello is a highly-decorated United States Marine Corps combat
veteran. He served with the United States Marine Corps as a Special
Operator during multiple combat tours in Afghanistan in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom.