Protecting Schools

Clinton Township Patrol Officer Raffaella Vastola serves as the School Resource Officer at North Hunterdon High School. In addition, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the following officers were hired by the Clinton Township Police Department to be stationed at North Hunterdon High School pursuant to the State of New Jersey’s ‘Special Class III Officer’ laws, which provide for the hiring of retired law enforcement officers to work exclusively in the schools.

1. Robert Capece

Officer Capece is a 1984 graduate of Belleville High School and a 1988 graduate of the Bergen County Police Academy. He joined the Belleville Police Department in 1988 and retired in good standing in 2015 as a Captain. While a police officer with Belleville, Officer Capece served as a liaison between the police department and the Board of Education and also worked closely with the Community Policing Unit. He received numerous commendations during his career with Belleville, including the Knights of Columbus Shield Award in 1996 and the State of New Jersey General Assembly Citation Award in 1999 and 2000.

2. Vincent Castellani

Officer Castellani is a 1984 graduate of Jonathan Dayton Regional High School and also attended Union County College and the University of Maryland, where he studied Criminal Justice. He is a 1989 graduate of the New Jersey State Police Academy, retiring in good standing as a Lieutenant in 2016. While a Trooper, Officer Castellani served as the head of the Strategic Investigations Unit. Officer Castellani received numerous commendations during his career, including the New Jersey General Assembly Resolution Award in 1998.

3. Richard Floyd

Officer Floyd is a 1986 graduate of Union Catholic Regional High School and a 1993 graduate of Kean University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. He is a 1990 graduate of the Union County Police Academy. Officer Floyd joined the Hillside Police Department in 1990, retiring in good standing in 2016 as the Acting Chief. Officer Floyd received numerous commendations during his career with the Hillside Police Department, including the Police Officer of the Year Award in 1998.

The application and hiring process employed by the Clinton Township Police Department in hiring the three officers was the same as that of full-time officers. Clinton Township Administrator Jess Landon and police Lieutenant Ryan Melsky worked closely with school officials in implementing the hiring process and developing a contract (known as a ‘Shared Services Agreement’) between the two agencies. Lieutenant Thomas DeRosa provided a great deal of logistical assistance by securing the uniforms, equipment, and training that each officer needed.

(L-R Front) Det. Thomas Hash, Assistant Superintendent Richard Bergacs, Superintendent Jeffrey Bender, Class III Officers Richard Floyd, Robert Capece, Vincent Castellani; (L-R Back) Clinton Twp. Administrator Jess Landon and North Hunterdon High School Principal Greg Cottrell