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Two Chiefs Step Down from Bergen County Police Merger Panel

Personnel change comes after a disagreement between the freeholder board and the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association.

Two active police officers have stepped down from a panel meant to advise the county’s freeholder board about the possible merger between the Sheriff’s Department and BCPD, NorthJerey.com reported.

According to the report, Cresskill Police Chief Edward Wrixon and Paramus Deputy Chief Robert Guidetti stepped down from the eight-member panel after a disagreement between the group and the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association.

The two men were the only active duty municipal chiefs on the board, which is also made up of Sheriff Michael Saudino, County Police Chief Brian Higgins, County Prosecutor John Molinelli, retired Tenafly Police Chief Michael Bruno, retired State Police Sgt. Edward McDonough and retired Hackensack police Detective Sgt. Louis D’Arminio, NorthJersey.com reported.

The sever comes after Mahwah Police Chief Jim Batelli, the President of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, questioned why the group was not asked to have a representative on the board, the report said.

Batelli criticized the freeholders’ shared services committee for not having the county’s chiefs participate in the process as a group, reports said.

Freeholder Tracy Zur, the head of the committee, told NorthJersey.com she was “disappointed” by the chiefs’ resignation from the board, but that they will find one more person to sit on it, likely a retired chief.

This dispute is just the latest in a string of disagreements surrounding the possible merger of the two law enforcement agencies. The freeholders voted in favor of the merger last year, but their decision was vetoed by County Executive Kathleen Donovan. The board has since voted to override her veto, and the County Exec filed a lawsuit against the board.

Shirley Fennell Bennett May 01, 2014 at 10:41 AM
The ugly head of racism shows it's head again. Amazing how the true feelings come out. Sad sad sad!
Hank May 01, 2014 at 05:58 PM
The panel stated they did not care the chefs decided to leave, they will just call for take out.
M.T. May 01, 2014 at 10:35 PM
Just merge them two departments already. While all you hacks do your political maneuvering we, the tax payers, get to keep footing the bill for a useless county police force. They can be absorbed into the Sheriff's department and we can can Higgins off the government teat (surely there is an office of "emergency management" that he can start sucking money out of). These people are worse than parasites sucking up these unbelievable salaries for sitting behind desks all day, all courtesy of the tax payer of course... the same people their officers treat like garbage when they pull them over. No worries he'll still get a pension and benefit package which will just be financed through higher taxes and borrowed money, leaving our grandchildren in debt up to their eyeballs. What a great system.
Andy Schmidt May 02, 2014 at 12:19 PM
I would prefer that the Sheriff's department be merged into the BC Police Dept. At least The BC Chief is a "hired" police officer. Currently, we are not just paying for the elected Sheriff, a political post, but then he gets to appoint his crony Under-Sheriffs - and we all pay for them. We could save a few Million just by cutting off the top two political layers of the Sheriff's department - while keeping the boots on the ground where they are. While we're at it - let's do the same with the County Administration. We don't need a County Executive (and her staff and her attorney teams) spending money on TOP of the county administrator. I'm against cutting services - I think we can easily maintain the police, sheriff and county services if we just trim overhead from the TOP - against the wishes of the political parties who LOVE "appointee" opportunities for their "deserving" members.
Jooe May 02, 2014 at 07:47 AM
I agree merge them but you need to understand that by merging them, the Chief's Association is loosing a chief for the Association, Do that to 5 Departments and " Chief Batelli will be down 5 Chief's in his club. Now we wouldn't want that!!! He can't control his own Dept let alone that Association!!! The town should look into the Mahwah PD not the DPW!!! $ 500,000.00 overtime budget.!!! REMEMBER!!!!

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