UPDATE AUGUST 7, 2013 (TIME: 1:45PM)
“As long as I’m the mayor and live in this town you will never see a County Police Department in this town"
~Haddon Heights Mayor Ed Forte
BY JOHN SCHMIDT
Haddon Heights has yet to pass a resolution to join Audubon, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Haddon Township, Mount Ephraim and Oaklyn in going out for an Request For Proposal (RFP), which will study consolidation of police administrative services.
The Courier Post reported that the six towns plus Haddon Heights, known as the Colonial Alliance have requested a study to merge upper-level police management. (See here) Despite this, the RFP includes examining each collective bargaining agreement with the local Police Unions, which cover rank and file members.
The RFP, which is being handled through Haddonfield Borough was released Friday, July 19th. Haddonfield’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously 3-0 to go out for the RFP last month. Haddonfield Mayor Jeff Kasko (R) is also the Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Haddon Heights.
When asked why the RFP was put out without Haddon Heights passing a resolution, Haddonfield Borough Clerk Deanna Bennett said:
“I talked to Sharon McCullough about your email. She had been told that the resolution would be done and if it did not get done prior to the advertisement that it would be done shortly. She is expecting confirmation from Haddon Heights’s Mayor within the next 24 hours on this. If they are unable to have this resolution done then we will have to do an addendum to the RFP.”
Haddon Heights operates under the Borough form of government also known as a weak mayor/strong council.
Critics of the Colonial Alliance, which was originally formed by the seven mayors including Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley, (photo, right) believe this is the next division of the Camden County Police Department. Maley, a former Gloucester City solicitor, is a well known attorney and longtime Collingswood Democrat politician with ties to the Camden County Democrat machine.
Local politicians in Haddon Heights say otherwise.
“As long as I’m the mayor and live in this town you will never see a County Police Department in this town, said Forte.
Others have questioned the legality of the merger since administrative personnel must come from the Department they are part of and not another department under Title 40.
40A:14-129. Promotion of members and officers in certain municipalities
In any municipality wherein Title 11 (Civil Service) of the Revised Statutes is not in effect, and except in cities of the first and second class, a promotion of any member or officer of the police department or force to a superior position shall be made from the membership of such department or force. Due consideration shall be given to the member or officer so proposed for the promotion, to the length and merit of his service and preference shall be given according to seniority in service.
No person shall be eligible for promotion to be a superior officer unless he shall have previously served as a patrolman in such department or force.