Wildwood cops in arrest video are ‘Class II’ — What does that mean?
WILDWOOD — In towns along the Jersey Shore where the daily population skyrockets during the summer months, police departments add special officers to their ranks to assist in handling crowds and lawbreakers.
The seasonal cops are limited to part-time hours, which gives cities the extra help they need without forcing them to take on full-time salaries that would be unnecessary in the winter months.
Two of these special officers in Wildwood, who fall in the category of "Class II," have been reassigned to administrative duty as officials investigate a violent interaction with a belligerent woman that took place over the Memorial Day weekend.
Unlike Class I special officers — who typically serve more basic functions, like traffic control or spectator control — individuals seeking a Class II certification undergo training very similar to the training for full-time certification.
In addition to firearms, recruits undergo training in use of force; criminal law; arrest, search and seizure; defensive tactics; Alcoholic Beverage Control law; and more.
In order to graduate from a police academy as a Class II officer, one must undergo approximately 300 hours of training.
"Class II's are trained to a standard that has proven successful," Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy told New Jersey 101.5.
Mastronardy said in some cases, Class II officers can receive full certification with just a couple more weeks of training.
Like a full-time cop, a Class II officer is permitted to carry a firearm on the beat.
"The exception is they can't carry their weapon off duty," said William McKnight, a former Atlantic City police officer and an instructor of criminal justice at Stockton University.
"The officers that are Class II are putting their lives on the line every day like every other regular police officer out there," McKnight added.
Class I officers, who generally receive less than 100 hours of training and are tasked with traffic detail and related duties, are not authorized to carry a firearm.
An officer's status as a Class I or II is required to be displayed on their uniform, typically with a shoulder patch.
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