Help Wanted: Cooperative Brigantine Police Chief

Help Wanted: Police Chief that will cooperate. The City Manager of Brigantine will soon start interviewing for the position of chief, just in case local voters decide to oust the public safety director on May 13.

The grass-roots forced election may succeed in removing the PSD, but does not ensure that future safety chiefs will come from within the departments. Estimated cost for the election is $30,000 and will be picked up by local Brigantine taxpayers. A deadline to submit resumes for the chief positions is Friday, April 25.

According to reports in the The Press of Atlantic City, “The interview and hiring process is a long one, so if voters decide to eliminate the director of public safety, then I’ll need heads of those departments,” City Manager Jennifer Blumenthal said.

City management says choosing a permanent chief is nothing to take lightly. The city manager says she’s looking to appoint someone who will work cooperatively with her and other city management. City Manager; Jennifer Blumenthal says cooperation between the city and the union membership is critical to that position. If a chief turned out to be un-cooperative, not a good fit, or if the city would prefer another in that position, that current Chief would be nearly impossible to remove.

Longevity, while valuable, is not the determining factor for who is best suited for the position of chief.

Councilman Tony Pullella has been quoted as saying the city may need to look outside the departments to fill the chief positions. Longevity, while valuable, is not the determining factor for who is best suited for the position of chief.

Other interesting items of note:

  • In a sign of union solidarity, one captain recently turned down a promotion to become acting chief.
  • Labor grievances & lawsuits have cost the city
  • Some Brigantine captains are now splitting an extra $52,000 per year due to a judge’s ruling.
  • Court cases filed by city employees have led to payouts, wiping out gains achieved in reducing alleged overtime pay abuses
  • Secret settlements and regular lawsuits are reminiscent of past history as chronicled in the local best seller: Greenhead Politics, The Story Brigantine Taxpayers were Never Told.’ 

A judge said Officer Cox; with an estimated annual salary of $135,000, was illegally removed from the Chief position.

Ray Cox; originally a police captain. was bumped up to acting chief, then quickly removed from that position. It was a defining moment for this protracted fight. A judge said Cox; with an estimated annual salary of $135,000, was illegally removed from the Chief position. Cox was awarded lost pay and legal fees. Brigantine is still appealing that decision.

The City of Brigantine has been stuck in contract negotiation hell for well over a year. Talks with union leaders have moved painfully slow. With union employee costs taking up about 60 percent of every tax dollar, the City of Brigantine, along with growing support of local taxpayers (70% with no voting rights) are digging in their heels and demanding a stop to the expensive and unsustainable way of running the City of Brigantine Beach.

Read More in The Press of Atlantic City

Comments

  1. says

    This new “top cop” situation is not just a Brigantine thing. Where I live in greater Miami, (the key’s), many towns are looking out of state for replacements for the “chiefs” job. When I was a cop in Brigantine from 1967 to 1992, if you kept your nose clean and did your job, you moved up the ladder and became chief.

    Near the end of my career, some questionable politicians (not the sharpest knives in the drawer) got into power. Many didn’t know the difference between an army private and a naval admiral. They picked those who were not in line solely due to the way they cuddled up to politicians.

    Much back stabbing happened. It’s a shame things have gotten as they have in Brigantine.

    Brigantine may be better off with “civil service”, ex: AC PD. Where preferences can still be given on a wide variety of reasons. (veteran’s preference, time on job, rank, etc)

    I wish all sides can come to agreement as strife causes lot’s of problems between city and employees.

    Good luck..Jim Tynan, BPD. Ret.Lt. Long Key, Florida.

  2. JANJOMI says

    The main criteriia for choosing a chief should be knowledge and experience in the field; not whether that person would blindly follow the directions of the City Manager or the Council. The City Manager would be wise to seek the advice of people who work the department and not necessarily just those in her Party.

  3. Public Safety Supporter says

    So let’s see. $70,000 salary + $UNKNOWN for Directors Expense Account + $52,000 to Fire Captains + $30,000 for special election + $?????? to City’s Labor Attorney for litigation that would have been avoided had Chiefs been made in the first place + $TBD to Capt Cox as a fine for improper removal from his position = EXACTLY HOW MUCH IN SAVINGS TO THE TAXPAYERS????! A HUGE failed experiment at a huge cost to the taxpayers. Time to cut our losses. Remember this come November

  4. John W. Pucci Sr. says

    What is the common denominator with these costly multiple debacles? It’s called the “City Manager”. The one without a contract, who can leave with 2 weeks notice leaving Brigantine to pick up the pieces. These interviews should have been completed last year during the temporary hiring of the Public Safety Director, in or out of house.

    We’re spending more money to Appeal the Court’s decision to reinstate Captain Cox. Didn’t the City Manager appoint him to the interim Chief position in the first place? Then shortly after, demote him back to Captain? Is this management at it’s best?

    Why does the public hear the cry during council meetings? There is no employee currently meeting the criteria of getting along with the City Manager? “Leadership is getting along with people you don’t get along with”. What efforts have been made for one person to “get along” with our many long time dedicated employees?

    Would Brigantine be a better place with a different person Captain of the Ship?

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