MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At the City Committee meeting on Monday, August 15, Mayor Tony Perry was sworn into the first group of Class III Law Enforcement Special Agents (SLEOs) who will serve as officers armed in the 16 schools of the public school district of Middletown Township from September.
In rapid response to the Ross Elementary School tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, the Middletown Township Committee and the Board of Education (BOE) came together in a shared service agreement to hire SLEOS to improve the safety of students and staff for the 2022-2023 school year. Officers will begin training this month and be ready for the first day of school.
“Increased police security was imperative to protect our school community, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the collaboration that made this possible in such a short time,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “Through the leadership of our school board and our Middletown Police Department, we are instituting a model for others to follow across the state in ensuring that public safety remains a top priority.”
“The role of our children is to learn; the role of our teachers is to educate. It’s our job as a board to keep them all safe,” said Middletown BOE Chairman Frank Capone. “Under the leadership of Mayor Perry and Chief Weber, I am proud that we are making this a reality for all of our schools.
“Tonight we swore in individuals who exemplify the high professional standards of the MTPD and foster positive community relations with our youth,” said Chief of Police R. Craig Weber.
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“The safety and well-being of our school community is of paramount importance and our officers will do everything possible to maintain a safe learning environment.”
The Township of Middletown would like to thank longtime residents Raymond and Elsie Catena for a $23,500 donation that will fund 20 body armor. Vests are one of the most expensive and important pieces of equipment for this program. “We sincerely thank the Catena family for their generous donation and commitment to public safety,” said Chief Weber.