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Green Brook Officials To 'Digest' County PD Study

Township has Aug. 1 deadline to decide whether to join proposed county police department.

Green Brook officials will “digest” the details of a report outlining a possible consolidation of Somerset County police departments before discussing whether to join the effort.

County municipalities have until Aug. 1 to notify the county of any interest in joining the consolidation, but Deputy Mayor Patrick Boccio speculated at Monday’s Township Committee meeting that would be a “soft deadline” because of the amount of information to be analyzed, but said that “I don’t see why we can’t” make the deadline.

Boccacio said the presentation of the task force’s finding was “very well done.”

Mayor Jerry Searfoss said it will take time some time for officials to “digest” the report and prepare questions for the township’s professionals, including Police Chief Martin Rasmussen.

The Township Committee will begin discussing the issue at its May 7 meeting and create a timeline for making a decision.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Searfoss said, adding that the township “will keep everyone updated” as the discussions continue.

The report, released last week by a task force headed by Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano, called for the county’s 19 police departments to come together in a single department divided into five precincts.

Green Brook would be in a precinct with North Plainfield, Watchung and Warren. A total of 133 officers would serve a population of 50,981 spread over 33.1 miles. The precinct would have the highest crime rate of the five precincts, 22.94 crimes per 1,000 residents.

The report estimates that Green Brook would save $1,685,737 over a decade.

The study also found that the township’s current police headquarters would not be used because of flooding potential. However, Green Brook’s courtroom would be utilized as the precinct’s municipal court.

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