From the towns: Hopewell Township lauds cops and technology

The Hopewell Township Committee moved ahead at its June 14 meeting with an ordinance updating the command structure of the Hopewell Township police department, as well as promotions in support of this new structure. The adopted ordinance includes a provision for a third Lieutenant, or a new Captain role, to strengthen the leadership team within the department. The Township is also adding a new Records Administrator position to the police department, to handle the increasing number of OPRA requests and other administrative needs.

This new structure comes out of a thorough review of the evolving policing needs for the community by Police Director Bob Karmazin, who assumed leadership of the department last Fall. Commenting on the new structure, Mayor Julie Blake said, “As we reflect on the events of the past year and look to the future, we felt it was important to build out the leadership team within the Hopewell Township police department and to add the new Records Administrator position. This will not only help better distribute the increasing administrative tasks within the department, but will also enable more opportunities for the training and development of our more junior officers. This is a big step forward for our department and I want to thank and recognize Director Karmazin for leading this process.”

In conjunction with the new command structure, the Township Committee announced three promotions within the police department and one promotion into the department: 1) Acting Lieutenant James Rosso is being promoted to Lieutenant; 2) Acting Sergeant Joseph Maccaquano is being promoted to Sergeant; 3) Detective Lincoln Karnoff is being promoted to Sergeant to fill a recent vacancy; and 4) Ms. Jessalyn H. Waldron is being promoted to the new Records Administrator position. Deputy Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning commenting on the promotions, said “It’s great to see Lieutenant Rosso, and Sergeants Maccaquano and Karnoff recognized for their long-term contributions to the police department and the broader Hopewell Valley community, with these promotions. I also want to welcome Ms. Waldron to the department and to thank her for taking on the new Records Administrator position. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishment with a more formal, public recognition ceremony in the weeks ahead.”

Beyond these staffing changes, the Hopewell Township police department is also moving forward with new technologies that will enable them to more effectively and efficiently serve the Hopewell Valley community.

This includes new, upgraded body-worn cameras that every officer will wear while on duty. Hopewell Township police were early adopters of body-worn cameras and began utilizing the technology in 2017.  

The new cameras have enhanced visual and audio capabilities and will create a public record of officers’ interaction with community members while on duty, providing transparency and strengthening the trust between Township police officers and the community they serve. Importantly, these new cameras were funded via a state grant of $69,292, which will enable Hopewell Township to also cover ancillary costs, including digital recordings storage.

Beyond the new body-worn cameras, this year’s capital budget for the police department provides for the acquisition of new hybrid SUV police vehicles. These new Ford SUVs are the first pursuit-rated hybrid police SUVs, and provide for improved power and performance, as well as significant increases in fuel efficiency. On the road, the hybrid police SUVs get 50% more miles to the gallon than traditional police vehicles. But more importantly, while idle, these SUVs can power the vehicle’s electric load using their lithium-ion hybrid battery, allowing the engine to run less and significantly reducing fuel usage as well as engine hours. In total, the new hybrid police SUVs are projected to save 1276 gallons of fuel per year, delivering a savings of $3828 per vehicle each year. 1 These fuel savings translate into a reduction in CO2 output of 25,560 lbs per vehicle, per year, helping protect our environment.

Commenting on these new technology upgrades, Township Committee Member and Finance Liaison Kevin Kuchinski noted, “We are continually looking for opportunities to save money and to deliver the services our residents expect, for less.  Motor fuel is the largest operating expense within the police department, after personnel, and these new hybrid SUVs will deliver significant savings in the short-term through lower fuel usage, as well as a significant reduction in engine hours, which should enable us to extend the service life of each police vehicle. I’m grateful to Lieutenant Springer and Director Karmazin for coming forward with the recommendation and rationale for these new hybrid SUVs in the 2021 capital budget. On behalf of the Committee, I’d also like to thank and recognize Lieutenant Tulko for his leadership on and administration of the new body-worn camera program and the department staff for their help in securing the state grant funding for these cameras.”

Submitted by Hopewell Township
For More Information or Questions, Please Contact:

Kevin D. Kuchinski, Hopewell Township Committee
kuchkd@gmail.com
(c) (609) 439-8044

or

Reba Holley, Hopewell Township Communications and Outreach Manager
rholley@hopewelltwp.org
(c) (609) 480-4838


1 Assumes 20,0000 miles and $3.00/gallon gas.

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