Woolwich Upgrades Local Police, Appoints Chaplain

WOOLWICH TWP.  — At their meeting on May 21, the Woolwich Township Committee adopted a resolution appointing Bay Kasten and Brian Collins as 9th Class Patrol Officers within the Woolwich Police Department. The Committee had named Officer Lindsay Davis as a Class 9 Officer back in April.

Woolwich Mayor Jordan Schlump administered the Oath of Office to the new officers, and they shook hands with the other Committee members. “I want to thank Woolwich Township for giving me this opportunity,” Collins said. “I’ll work to the best of my ability.”

Kasten thanked everyone involved with their appointments. Schlump assured the new officers, “You come with a lot of family, and you have the support of our community.” Committeewoman Gina Santore wished them good luck, while Committeeman Dan Battisti called them “good people to have” in the community.

Woolwich Police Chief Rich Jaramillo emphasized that Woolwich Township was in good hands. “We work hard here,” the Chief added. “The new officers come with a great deal of experience, and we’ll hit the ground running.”

The Committee also adopted a resolution appointing Reverend Ray McIlwaine as Police Chaplain. “I’m very honored and humbled for this opportunity to serve our community,” McIlwaine commented.

“He is a volunteer, and the chaplain program is near and dear to my heart,” Jaramillo assured. “When we have serious situations here, we are glad to have the chaplain around.”

In a chaplain program, the chaplains are notified by 911 dispatchers if they are needed during a critical situation. After they arrive, the chaplains can offer counseling to people and free up police officers to conduct police business.

Chaplains are volunteers, but are still required to complete training and remain active for a certain number of hours to maintain their certifications.

Also, an ordinance was introduced on its first reading that would add an amendment to the Woolwich Township code entitled, “Police Injury on Duty Benefits.” Another passed resolution authorized making elevations within the Woolwich Township Police Department.

Elsewhere, Woolwich issued a Proclamation, declaring the first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Lynne Bussott of Swedesboro attended the meeting, representing Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Moms Demand Action is a national, grassroots, non-partisan movement that was formed after the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings.

Bussott is a gun owner, and says the organization respects the Second Amendment, but is looking to reduce gun deaths through awareness, sensible legislation and gun safety. Schlump pointed out that there was nowhere in the group’s information indicating that they were trying to take Second Amendment rights away.

Bussott, a schoolteacher, says she practices lockdown drills and receives active shooter training.

She proposed that Woolwich turn their town orange on June 1. Orange is the color worn by hunters in the woods to protect themselves from gunfire.

In Public Works, Committeeman Vernon Marino reported that two new employees had been hired, and seasonal workers were now starting. Marino added that he had been getting good reports on the condition of the athletic fields.

Marino added that Fun Day would be taking place on June 9 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Events would include dance studio and karate performances, a petting zoo, fireworks, and a mechanical bull.

In Trash and Recycling, Santore noted that a 10 year Waste Management contract with Gloucester County expires at the end of 2019. For the Business Development and Advisory Committee, Deputy Mayor John Carleton said they were looking to roll out the Spotlight of the Month for local businesses during the coming months. Carleton added that the department would be exploring more of its options on social media.

Carleton listed 45 calls to service for the Woolwich Fire Company in April.

Schlump reported that 18 permits had been written for new homes during April. The mayor called the local Green Team “energetic, with a lot of good ideas.”

by Robert Holt

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