For Immediate Release – August 15, 2022
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At the Monday, August 15th Township Committee meeting, Mayor Tony Perry swore in the first group of Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEOs) who will serve as armed officers in the Middletown Township Public School District’s 16 schools beginning in September.
In swift response to the tragedy at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the Middletown Township Committee and Board of Education (BOE) came together in a shared service agreement to hire SLEOs to enhance the safety and security 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.
“It was imperative to increase police security to protect our school community, and I could not be more grateful for the collaboration to make this possible in such a short period of time,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “Thanks to the leadership of our Middletown Board of Education and Police Department, we are instituting a model for others to follow across the state to ensure public safety remains a top priority.”
“Our children’s role is to learn; our teachers’ role is to educate. It's our job as a board to keep them all safe,” said Middletown BOE President Frank Capone. “Under the leadership of Mayor Perry and Chief Weber, I'm proud 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 promote positive community relations with our youth,” said Chief of Police R. Craig Weber. “The safety and wellbeing 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 long-time residents Raymond and Elsie Catena for a $23,500 donation that will fund 20 bullet proof vests. 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.