South Brunswick Police Add Former Trenton Officer
Police department continues to add experienced officers laid off from big cities.
With hundreds of experienced police officers being laid off across New Jersey, the South Brunswick Police Department added another experienced officer who was victim of a budget crunch in an urban area.
Earlier this month, Marcus Leysath became the newest member of the department after being one of 105 officers laid off from the Trenton Police Department. Leysath, who worked as an officer in Trenton for three and one-half years, said the situation in the capital reached a low point as the layoffs began.
"There was very low morale there, it was a horrible time," Leysath said. "I was out of work for 9 months, a long 9 months. It was difficult for all of us, but the guys did their best to keep their spirits up."
In late 2011, the department added four new officers, two of which were victims of urban police layoffs. South Brunswick Officer Jamal Benbow was one of 125 Paterson police officers laid off in April 2011. Former Trenton Police Officer Michael Ngo, of Hamilton, served in Trenton from March 2007 to September 2011. Ngo served on the Violent Crimes Task Force in Trenton, which focused on problem neighborhoods.
The additional hires brings the total complement of officers in South Brunswick to 73, still down from 82 officers a few years ago before attrition chipped away at the police workforce amid a budget crunch. Chief Raymond Hayducka said the township was able to reap the benefits of adding veteran officers for the betterment of safety in South Brunswick.
"These officers bring a wide variety of experience," Hayducka said. "They see things differently and have a different style of policing."
For Leysath, the transition from Trenton to South Brunswick presented a bit of culture shock.
"We're still busy here in South Brunswick, but the call volume is not as high as in Trenton," he said. "It's not the same type of calls. The first call I got here in South Brunswick was for a bear. I was like what? There are bears out here?"
As he adjusts to South Brunswick, Leysath said he's honored to be given the opportunity to serve in the township as so many of his colleagues remain out of work.
"I'm just very honored, excited, happy and content," he said. "I have a lot of words to describe how I feel. I'm looking forward to learning the town."
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