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Borough Council To Examine Police, PHS Parking Issues

Candace Braun

Borough Council was scheduled to review staffing within the Princeton Borough Police Department at its meeting on Tuesday night, including the possibility of adding a third lieutenant's position to the force.

A report submitted by Borough Administrator Bob Bruschi recommends that the Borough establish a fourth administrative position to take the place of the captain's position vacated by Anthony Federico when he took over for former Chief Chuck Davall at the beginning of the year.

Mr. Bruschi recommended that rather than reinstate the captain's position, the Borough should promote one of the current sergeants to third lieutenant. Titled "administrative lieutenant," this individual would work with the current operations and patrol lieutenants.

Mr. Bruschi justified the promotion as a response to the need for adequate supervision of the 28 officers on the force, and the fact that both of the current lieutenants, as well as Chief Federico, are expected to retire within the next two years.

"I believe that one of the major challenges that we will face over the next several years is cuing up the future leaders of the department and giving them enough time in leadership roles to be able to lead the department when their time comes," said Mr. Bruschi in his report.

Included in the report was a comparison chart between the Borough and Township's police departments, showing that in 2004 the Borough had 20,528 calls for service compared to the Township's 17,091, almost a 20 percent difference. It also shows that the Borough had significantly more DUIs, liquor law violations, disorderly conduct violations, and adult arrests.

Council was also scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday night on the parking permit system that was implemented at Princeton High School last fall.

While in previous months Princeton Regional Board of Education President Anne Burns had said that she was going to ask both the Borough and Township to change the permit parking hours to end at 3 p.m., rather than the current 6 p.m., Ms. Burns is now only asking that the Borough grant the district 10 permits in addition to the 70 now available for students.

Ms. Burns previously stated that the Board had changed its mind about asking the Borough and Township to change the permit hours as a result of opposition from members of Borough Council and Township Committee.

When the permit system was originally put into place last fall, the district only received a collective 60 permits from both municipalities, even though it had requested a total of 90. However, an additional 10 permits were granted during the school year, and if the Borough and Township give the district final approval for 10 more permits from each one, the district will have the 90 permits it had originally sought.

The Borough's ordinance, which was created after years of complaints from both students and residents about parking problems around the high school, mandates that from September 1 through June 30 (excluding weekends and holidays), student parking is only available via permits on Borough portions of Walnut Lane and Guyot Avenue. Residents of the neighborhood are issued residential parking permits for street parking.

The Borough issues the permits at a cost of $10 each, and students receive them through a lottery held by the district. Students who live in close proximity to the school are excluded.

The Borough's ordinance was approved last year under a sunset clause, which meant that it had to be reviewed in a year's time and reapproved if it was to continue. The Township's ordinance is also set to be reviewed in the near future.

Council's meeting on Tuesday was held after Town Topics press time.


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