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In Your Opinion: Public Safety Director Is Best For Franklin And Police Department

By Arnold W. Schmidt.

I read with interest that our former Mayor and now Freeholder Brian Levine and other Republicans running for office in Franklin Township are trying to use our current Police Department situation as a politically divisive wedge issue. So far as we know, this problem has been going on for at least three years but possibly further back when Mr. Levine was Mayor.

He tries to obfuscate this by extolling his leadership while questioning the professionalism of our Police Department. He further states that the proposed changes will cost the Township more money and deliver less service. As a CPA professional, he should know better than to make unfounded statements like this. While Mayor maybe he should have implemented safeguards against the possibility of the abuse of union time.

I want to commend our current Mayor, Township Council, and Township Manager for immediately acting to rectify this situation as soon as they found out about it. Previously our Council had no control over this issue because of a state statute that did not allow them to have oversight of our very own police department. Without that oversight it appears a relatively small group of officers in our otherwise excellent Police Department took advantage of a situation that will now be rectified. It’s important that the new Director of Public Safety and the Township Manager will have the authority to oversee the Department’s operations. The unified front with the County Prosecutor’s office is a step in the right direction.

It is disingenuous for the individuals mentioned above to take advantage of this situation by calling this action unfriendly to our police officers and the Department. This action is what is best for Franklin Township at this time and also best for our Police Department. Further, the Department may be losing the opportunity for someone to be promoted to the chief position but it’s my understanding that our newly aligned department will provide for additional promotional opportunities including more captains than we had before. One captain will be the “Officer in Charge” running the day-to-day operations.

So again I want to thank the Mayor, Council, and Manager for their strong leadership and for promptly bringing this issue to our attention and making the necessary changes. It’s unfortunate that some people want to use rhetoric to divide us rather than unite us. Franklin Township is and always will be better than that.

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