The Plainfield Township Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of two part-time police officers and granted the police chief the authority to interview applicants for a third position during Wednesday night's meeting.
The two new officers, Michael Scicutella and Vanessa Cruz, join a force that has shrunk in manpower from 12 full-time officers to seven, with only one part-time officer currently on payroll, according Officer Christopher Ryan, who is in charge of the police force.
Several full-time officers are out recuperating from injuries sustained while on duty, he noted.
In addition, since 2007, several officers have left the force and have not been replaced.
Scicutella is currently a part-time officer in Hellertown, while Cruz is working part-time in Freemansburg, according to Ryan.
"I'm trying to provide 24-hour coverage," Ryan said at one point responding to a series of questions from residents.
"I'm trying to have two officers out (on duty at the same time). I'm getting phone calls in the middle of the night where my only part time officer was sick and could not work. I'm trying to do what I can. That's why I'm trying to get these two officers on an as-needed basis until the regional thing goes through."
The regional Slate Belt police force would merge the police departments of Plainfield Township, Wind Gap and Pen Argyl.