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Sunday, March 04, 2012
Police Chief Selection Process: Town Officals Integrity and Transparency Will Be Tested
It has been confirmed that Joseph Martino, the son of the former Linden Board of Education Superintendent by the same name, was hired approximately eight years ago after the process of conducting a criminal background check on the police recruit was manipulated in order to pass his application through the approval process. Sources have confirmed that Joe Martino has since been suspended from employment for close to a year and has alleged to have resigned from the Westfield police department in the wake of disciplinary charges stemming from an alleged off-duty assault of a woman and alleged drug use.
With speculation that current police chief John Parizeau is seeking employment with the Connell Corporation, where other retired officers have gone on to become executive chauffeurs, town officials received confirmation of Parizeau's desire to retire and have stated that a selection process will soon be put into place, or will it. Parizeau is leaving after investigations by the Unin County Prosecutor's Office into Parizeau's alleged misconduct have been conducted.
There are many within the police department that believe the process to select a new police chief will be no more fair than the last two processes that yielded Tracy and Parizeau as Chief of Police and David Wayman as Captain. If history has a way of repeating itself, town officials most likely already know who they want to take command of a department that has seen morale issues skyrocket and overall job satisfaction plummet.
In the past, the outgoing police chief has typically recommended one of two police captains to the town administrator, to become police chief. The town administrator will then forward the candidates name to the Westfield Town Council for approval. The last two police chiefs and one captain position were chosen after what was deemed by town officials to be a fair and unbiased process that included opening up the testing process to lieutenants. Thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on the selection process and the official results have never been released after accusations of score manipulation and results tampering were claimed.
In the upcoming weeks, The Fact of The Matter will follow the Westfield Police Chief Selection Process as it works it's way towards determining who will lead the police department for the foreseeable future.