SWEDESBORO — Swedesboro Borough Council met on May 22 and discussed the hiring of two new Class Three police officers for school security.
Captain Sheldon Lewis explained that the Swedesboro-Woolwich school district got approval to hire officers solely for school patrolling during the 2018-2019 school year to improve security measures in the district.
According to Lewis the two officers will patrol Clifford, Stratton, Harker and Hill Schools during regular school hours, rotating through them. Local law enforcement has stopped into the schools in the past for police presence. However, these new officers will give the schools solely assigned officers.
Lewis further explained that Class Three officers are retired law enforcement who are armed and required to meet the same qualification standards as active-duty officers. They are considered special officers and are not eligible for health benefits or pension for their service to the schools.
Dr. Kristin O’Neil, Superintendent of the school district, is very committed to the safety and security of the children and is looking forward to having officers patrolling. She believes that their experience will be an asset to the school’s intense focus on safety which includes a district wide safety committee, security cameras, building security, communication and planning with the police department and Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management.
Also, the Woolwich Police Department welcomed two new police officers, Brian Collins from Waterford Police Department, and Bay Kasten from South Harrison Township. Woolwich Township also welcomes a new Chaplin, Ray McIlwaine, for crisis response, among other things in the area.
In environmental news, there is concern over grass clippings and yard waste in waterways and drains. Residents should be aware that their yard waste can clog runoff drains, grow bacteria and harm our waterways if clippings remain on the road.
The council is asking that residents be mindful of their waste by removing it from the streets, avoiding blowing it into waterways and bag debris for pickup.
In other news, the traditional free kayak events at Lake Narraticon are not taking place this summer. However, the county holds canoe and kayak rentals for the 80-acre lake at Scotland Run Park every Saturday and Sunday from June 9 to Labor Day.
A kayak dock joins the list of improvements planned for a property recently bought by the town on the Raccoon Creek which is adjacent to Swedesboro Lake Park.
This kayaking dock joins the long list of outdoor facilities in the area. Swedesboro Lake Park has a hilly terrain with walking trails, a fishing/kayak dock, gazebo and a shaded playground area. Newly created Tranquility Trails on High Hill Road gives an excellent option to those looking for easy terrain trails.
Council member Diane Hale spoke about upcoming events in Swedesboro including Food Truck Thursdays and Dancing in the Streets. There will be at least 15 food trucks from South Jersey and Philadelphia attending these events.
Trucks will have savory and sweet treats, and local wineries will provide beverages. The event will include family fun and giant life-sized games like chess and checkers.
Food Truck Thursdays will take place June 28, July 28 and August 23 at Swedesboro Auction Park off Locke Ave and Fow Avenue.
By Kayla Kuchta