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In Your Opinion: Eliminating Police Chief Position May Be Too Extreme A Solution

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

Our beloved former Mayor Brian Levine is to thank for this. (Hi Brian).

I intend to be at the Aug. 13 Township Council meeting with popcorn. One thing I know for sure is Republican candidates for Council will make vacuous statements and make it easy for Council to play whack-a-mole with them. To quote Bill Cosby, “Tonto, don’t go into town, they are gonna beat you up again man”

I believe in the Police Chief model, someone who bubbles up through the ranks before landing at the top. Trust and respect is important; in intense situations you don’t have time to guess what your boss wants you to do. Some may view this as insular but it almost has to be. Having a political appointee as leader adds a variable I am not comfortable with.

My opinion does not matter though, what matters is why are they doing this. Armchair philosophers like myself are commenting, but Chief Fodor has not even given his report yet. I have seen enough in the papers to understand why it has to be looked at, I just don’t know if the solution is too extreme.

So instead of making vague statements and accusations I think we should ask basic questions:

  • Who benefits from this change? Who is the winner and why, if there is one?
  • What does council get out of this really? Does it make it easier for Mr. Prasad to help his friend with parking tickets?
  • What does Bob Vornlocker get out of it? I personally have seen him 8 a.m. in Dunkin’ Donuts and 8 p.m. at a Council meeting or Open Space Advisory Committee meeting. He will make no more money and this won’t help his quality of life.
  • Does leadership at the Somerset County level benefit by having one more political gift, and are they willing to change the power structure to do it? That seems a bit much.
  • Does anyone in the police force benefit?

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s a personnel issue that has to be dealt with. To quote “Ghostbusters,” “everything was fine till D-S turned off the power grid.”

It is the Council’s job to intelligently articulate why they are doing this. If a Republican wants my vote, I will be looking for wisdom in understanding this situation because that’s the job they applying for, not snarky antagonism. That’s my job.

Your Thoughts

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