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.