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