A receipt for services costing taxpayers $7500 (shown below) by The Institute for Forensic Psychology in Oakland N.J. indicates that four lieutenants were part of the 2005 police chief selection process along with two captains. Their names appear on the receipt below. Passed over for police chief were candidates like Frank Brunelle, a 30+ year veteran of the police department that had served in every capacity of the department: patrolman, detective, detective sergeant, lieutenant, detective lieutenant. Other candidates such as Cliff Auchter and Jim Schneider were overlooked. Instead, John Parizeau, a police officer that had never supervised a single patrolman during his entire career, was chosen by town officials. Parizeau was removed from road patrol early in his career, Westfield High School lost it's own unofficial personal police officer. He spent nearly 20+ years as the departments information technology officer rising through the ranks the unconventional way in the eyes of officers that worked the street paying their dues directing traffic, issuing motor vehicle tickets, making arrests, working nights and weekends.
With Parizeau's retirement scheduled for later on this summer (August), town officials had plenty of notice to conduct a fair, impartial, and unbiased process for its next police chief. That does not seem to be the case. The transparency in government that Mayor Skibitsky preaches is selective at best. Only when transparency benefits the Mayor or other town officials, will the window looking into town government be open with shades and curtains eliminated.
Sources have indicated that Captain Cliff Auchter has elected to seek retirement leaving town officials with one candidate to replace the retiring Parizeau......Captain Dave Wayman. Why wasn't the process, this time, open to lieutenants as was the case in 2005? Is it because Jim Gildea and Mayor Skibitsky got who they wanted? Is it because officers currently holding the rank of lieutenant such as Christopher Battiloro, Edward Maguire, Nicholas Norton, and Scott Rodger posed a significant threat to Wayman had a legitimate testing process taken place and been administered by an independent agency? Would a fair and unbiased testing process posed a threat to Gildea's desire to promote Wayman?
There are those within the police department that have stated that any one of the aforementioned lieutenants would have presented themselves as a much more qualified, respected, and deserving candidate based on education, training, knowledge, and experience. TFoTM challenges anyone to refute this observation.
Did Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea manipulate the police chief selection process, once again, as has been alleged to of occurred during the last selection process?
By not including current lieutenants in the recent chief of police selection process, TFoTM emphatically concludes: YES.
Town Administrator Jim Gildea is a self preservationist. What better way to preserve his own job by promoting a candidate that has close ties to the "Pandora's Box" of the Bernard Tracy administration.
Captain David Wayman can potentially serve as Westfield's police chief for the next 19 - 20 years until the mandatory retirement age of 65. He will also have the opportunity to set the course of the department by promoting officers as a result of the vacuum left with his promotion and Auchter and Parizeau's retirements. Up for grabs will be two coveted captains positions that are not tested for but appointed by the sitting police chief. Those promotions will allow two new lieutenants to be selected and two sergeants.
One officer quoted by TFoTM that wishes to remain anonymous due to fears of retaliation stated, "Look at the bright side of this tainted promotion, at least there will be movement within the ranks."
Then again, those promotions, at the lower ranks, have had a history of being manipulated by the office of the Chief of Police.
TFoTM wishes the hard working dedicated men and women of the Westfield Police Department the best of luck as they are led into the future by circumstances beyond their control.