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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Police Chief Selection Process: Town Officals Integrity and Transparency Will Be Tested

     With the announcement by Westfield Police Chief John M. Parizeau, that he will retire on August 1, 2012, town officials will soon gather, if they have not already, to decide who will take over a police department that has been clouded in corruption since former police chief Bernard Tracy took over the department almost twelve years ago.  With vacation time, sick time, and terminal leave being used to carry Parizeau's employment to the projected retirement date, he will most likely unofficially vacate his office by the end of April.  It will be interesting to see who town officials name as "Acting Chief" in the interim.  TFoTM suggests the Union County Prosecutor's Office so as not to give any one candidate an unfair edge.  Then again, those employed by the police department have not witnessed anything close to fair during the last two police chief selection processes. 
     Parizeau was Tracy's successor when Tracy decided to step down not long after subordinates had accused him of misconduct ranging from an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, harassment, retaliation, and orchestrating the alleged illegal computer checks on Westfield residents during the failed parking deck debate.
     Barney Tracy had already set his retirement into motion by seeking employment with the Linden Board of Education as a security guard at the city's high school on St. Georges Ave.  It should come as no surprise that Tracy took the position not long after he had hired the Linden school's superintendent's son, and another Linden Bd. of Ed. employee's son and niece, as Westfield police officers.  Politics as usual.
     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.

21 comments:

  1. Lets do an informal vote.....lets see who the readers of TFOTM would pick for police cheif...you guys keep score and post the findings here....just try and keep your votes realistic.....

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  2. If the town is opening up the process in a transparent way....then they will throw a test and open up to the rank of Lieutenant.....and my vote is for Lt. M. Cassidy

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    1. Cassidy?? Seriously?? Hmm, maybe you're not so mad afterall !

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  3. Matt please stop writing on here, with that in mind I have two words for you......POLICE DIRECTOR. The track record of the Mayor, Gildea and council have put us in a situation where the only thing that can put the Department back to a functioning public service organization is to hire an outside professional to run the day to day operations and weed out the criminals. We all know that wont happen because the politicians will lose their hook into the PD.

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  4. lieutenant Edward Maguire for Chief.........

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    1. either one....matt or ed would be a better choice than Johnny Bravo.....the reason for matts endorcement is that he only has a few years left to retirement and could restore some respect to the department....and then after matt pulls the plug ed could take over and continue the tradition of respect.....its going to take a long time to erase the damage that Barney and Davey and Johnny have dont....

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    2. FYI.....Batman is too young to get the office and would lock up it up for too long....at least this way there would be movement .... besides Batman likes Koolaid......

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    3. ...as for Rogers....hes an idiot....

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  5. Message to the next police chief: captain dave would make a really super great records bureau captain, watcha think?

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    1. Working steady midnights during the weekend

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  6. I think that if the testing for chief includes lieutenants then each should serve as acting chief for a couple of weeks to see how they handle the job. One problem,when it is lieutenant Ricerca's turn he might file a grievance if they don't make him chief.

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  7. Maybe it would be best at this time that the Town of Westfield go in an entirely different direction and stop hiring a chief within, it just doesn't seem to be working. Possibly we should do something different and go outside the box and hire from outside the department.

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  8. The system works as long as Gildea keeps his nose out of it. His personal vendetta against Auchter is why we got stuck with Parizeau and Wayman.

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  9. Auchter is no prize either....Cassidy for Chief........

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  10. How about getting all the candidates for chief to sign a release that their scores on each aspect of the testing phase is open for all to see. That way Gildea can't screw with the final rankings like he did last time. He is still looking for the test results from when tracy made chief. Said he lost them, yeah right.

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  11. Lt. Battiloro is the best choice to restore order to the department but the word on the street is that they are going to make the Fire Chief retire also and then hire a Public Safety Director to run both Police and Fire.

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    1. Has anyone read the Town Charter?

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  12. How could you say that LT Battiloro is the best......he has been drinking from the Koolaid container and doing the dirty work for Wayman.......besides putting him in the corner office would only lock that postions for many years thus causing stagnation within the department....put someone there that is close to retirement, and when their time is up, years of service not age, they will go.....

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  13. I think I speak for a lot of cops .Past and present who pushed for Lt Maguire last time a poll for chief was taken.We all know where that ended up.He's highly respected by anyone who's ever worked with him.Ask any of his men now. He's a cops cop who will stand up for you when and if you need him.He also,knows how to treat people with respect and dignity instead of looking down on them.Unlike some of these other clown prospects.
    As for handling the tough task at hand . Cleaning up the embattled mess the P.D has become and boosting morale higher than its been in years .He,s the man for the job.
    And like Jackie Hall said. Lets see the testing results this time Jim and Andy!!!

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  14. Battiloro will be no better then his DRUNKEN father was as the Fire chief!!! His daddy was hired as Chief of the fire dept because he had Intel on so many in this town and if he didnt get his Chief spot and his Chief pension he would have opened up a can of worms and cost the town money.... The government in this town and in this country needs to be shaken up BIG TIME..... Battiloro... WHAT A JOKE.... He was a loser and a drunken pot head as a kid growing up here and now were gonna make him Police Chief.... OMG , i cant wait to move out of this town!!!

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  15. This is a very interesting story. I do know as Fact the Governor is currently conducting interviews for this Prosecutor Romankow's replacement.

    The questions that have been raised are "what did you know and when did you know it"

    The wiretaps - audio - video records I understand are fascinating as this Prosecutor has his canoe up the river with no paddle and no way out.

    I predict four to five Federal indictments from the Prosecutor down and likely six to nine resignations.

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