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Police Capt. Paprota Temporarily Named Officer in Charge

Paprota will remain in charge of the Lacey Township Police Department as the Committee continues to explore its options to replace former Chief of Police William Nally

Capt. David Paprota was designated as Officer in Charge of the Lacey Township Police Department until a decision is made regarding the replacement of former Chief of Police William Nally.

The decision to appoint Paprota to Officer in Charge was made at the township Committee meeting on Thursday evening by a vote of 4-0. Committeeman Sean Sharkey was absent.

Paprota has been running the police department since Nally retired on Dec. 31, Deputy Mayor Gary Quinn said. He will remain in charge until the future leadership of the police department is determined.

“He’s doing an outstanding job in running the department,” Quinn said. “Right now I can tell you the department is running at 100 percent as far as being efficient. The captain’s leading our men, we have great men and women over there.”

The title of Officer in Charge will enable Paprota to perform the executive duties of a chief, including signing gun permits, which residents such as Douglass Fraleigh have expressed concern over.

“It’s not always practical to have as one chief goes out, another comes in so law has allowed to have (an Officer in Charge),” attorney Lauren Staiger said.

A decision to replace Nally has yet to be made and the Committee continues to explore its options, Quinn said, mentioning the possibility of promoting someone from within the police department or hiring a public safety director.

“We’re moving forward,” Quinn said. “We feel there is enough discussion in the community on both sides of the issue that we wanted to run through the whole process and at the end of the day make a decision which is going to be best for the department and the residents of this community.”

Paprota joined the police department in 1992 after serving with the Tinton Falls Police Department in Monmouth County, according to the Lacey Township Police Department's website. He was promoted to Captain in 2005 and currently serves as the department’s Patrol Division Commander. He earned a Doctorate Degree, Ed.D., from Seton Hall University in 2012, is a published author and has produced police training materials.

“I look forward to attending to the executive business of the department,” Paprota said. “In direct consultation with Committeeman Quinn as a liaison to the police department, I intend to move forward and implement progressive plans to improve operations at the police department.”

His first order of business will be initiating a crime alert on the police department’s website to allow residents access to timely information on criminal activity that may be affecting their neighborhoods, he said.

“We’re doing due diligence right now and we’re looking at all options and going through the vetting process. I can assure you, we’ll do the best thing for Lacey Township,” Mayor David Most said.

“You made the right decision so far,” Fraleigh said.

GB Shore January 11, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I hope they make Dave the Chief. He has a strong ethical and moral compass and I know personally that he is not part of the good old boys here in Lacey, unlike the dearly departed former Chief. Dave is as good as they come and he's a good family man. Let's do the right thing here Lacey Township Committee.....
stephen james January 11, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Capt. Paprota looks like the man for the job ! He has been a member of the force for quite a while now, take the reins capt. and make lacey proud ! Good luck capt.!!
Robert Yates January 11, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Why doesn't the committee just appoint Paprota Chief? He certainly has the credentials. I guess we need to know if he has the confidence of his officers. Then, they can elevate either Tirella or Veltri as head of patrol (essentially replacing Paprota) and leave the remaining Lt. as the single Platoon leader in charge of the 4 squads (which are comprised of 30 officers) This way the command structure staying in tact and the township saves money by not hiring more officers or a public safety director.
Realist January 11, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I hope our town fathers realize that this extremely qualified and respected officer is the only choice. And not only because of his experience and credentials, but financially it makes sense for the township!
Kathryn M. January 11, 2013 at 02:59 PM
He's the definition of a class act. They should make him Chief !
Jon W January 11, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Who is Hickey? What about Le Tellier or his plan?
Captain Ed January 11, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Sounds good. Lets do it! Just please get to the very important first order of business. Gun applications! Focus on the important stuff first!
Captain Ed January 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Why does that not surprise me.
Sarah B January 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM
why is the captain only the "temporary" person in charge???? he should be made the chief now so he can do the job. i don't understand this town. are they seriously still considering hiring a director???? i did a google search and quickly learned that a director for police departments has been a disaster over and over throughout the state, so why is this town considering such a move. plus, i don't want my taxes wasted on creating an additional position that will cost us all money that could be used to hire new officers. correct me if i am wrong, but isn't the captain already on the payroll getting paid, while a new director will have to be added to the payroll???? wake up!!!!
Winston Smith January 12, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Just curious. Why would it be illegal to sign a legit gun app?
Devoted Friend January 12, 2013 at 01:59 AM
I agree with Kathryn above. Captain Paprota is the best man for the job! Make him Chief right away.
Rosalinda Russo Tamke January 12, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Sarah B you are so right the Township has a political agenda, they always have and you can be sure that Paprota isn't a player he is a good cop, smart and totally focused on being a leader. He is principled, smart and as long as I have worked there a smart guy. There are a lot of good guys at the PD, but Dave Paprota is the right choice.
Rosalinda Russo Tamke January 12, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Congratulations Dave hope the Township makes you the Chief. The best thing that ever happened to that Department besides me. LOL.
diane January 12, 2013 at 02:36 AM
We do not need a director. This man seems like he has so much to offer, sign him up and be done with it.
LaceyShawn January 12, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Regarding the legality of signing gun permits, all they need to do is read the laws they are supposed to enforce. N.J.A.C Title 13, Chapter 54 establishes the laws regarding firearms. The 'Chief of Police' must sign off on the permits. NJAC 13:54-1.2 Definitions "Chief of police" or "chief police officer" means the highest ranking sworn member of a municipal police department." Therefore, as the 'Officer in Charge' he is the highest ranking sworn officer of the department, and thus satisfies the requirement. Hand the man a pen.
Winston Smith January 12, 2013 at 05:35 AM
@LaceyShawn, Ok, thanks.
iknow January 13, 2013 at 04:53 PM
If the Committee is serious about saving taxpayers money, Captain Paprota will certainly be promoted to Chief. Take a look at the pay table, it is only a $7,000 raise to promote Paprota, but would cost the town anywhere from $60K - $100K to hire a Director. The only reason the Committee hasn't jumped on this cost savings promotion yet is because Paprota isn't a political crony. They are probably looking to give a job to a retired cop who is a member of the Republican club. Remember the last time a position was created for a retired cop? The guy was dating a prominent person who works for the town.. Historically, this is how the Committee has behaved when it comes to promoting and hiring people. If they were really interested in saving the town money they would propose the following: Captain Paprota takes the position of Chief for the same salary he is collecting now. This would eliminate the need for a new position and save the taxpayers money in the process. This really isn't a hard decision, which definitely makes you wonder why the Committee is stalling for so long...
proud January 13, 2013 at 07:44 PM
If New Jersey could just shake the mentality of "home rule", they might just be able to get their fiscal house in order. From the perspective of policing, options that municipalities that could be considering would include interdepartmental sharing, merged departments or the evolution to regionalization. While there are pros and cons to restructuring, the potential for savings in the form of property tax relief is very real. I would not contend that this notion should be unique to policing. The real obstacle to seriously addressing these type of options would be opposition from the unions. This is New Jersey after all. With that said, it would appear that Captain Paprota is a very qualified candidate for Cheif given the current structure of the department. One point they I haven't seen mentioned in these comments is does he want the job?
Rosalinda Russo Tamke January 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM
I feel that for once the Township of Lacey should do the right thing for the Department and for the Lacey Township residents.
Rosalinda Russo Tamke January 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Promote Dave to Chief.
lookatit January 14, 2013 at 02:46 PM
check out what just came out looks like they want a director http://www.njslom.org/classifieds_jobs.html
BB January 14, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Paprota is THE ONLY answer for Lacey Twp! PLEASE Lacey Twp stop wasting money with your stupid ideas.....we do not need a "director" .Paprota has shown over and over that he can run this department. He is TOP CHOICE.
Frankie Shermbut January 14, 2013 at 03:59 PM
could it it be a certain relative of someone on Lacey Rd?
Michelle Finne Richardson January 14, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Corruption is everywhere not just here, it is sad that this town can not pull its you know what together. Hopefully this guys honest, reliable and a good cop period! Most of the cops in lacey are great. After sandy everynight, they patrolled laurel blvd along with us residents who stayed to protect our homes. THANKS TO YOU ALL !
Sarah B January 14, 2013 at 10:37 PM
with the games the town committee is playing, the captain should tell them to you know what with the position. they are jerking this guy around. i just read they are going ahead with the political director position. wasting more of our hard earned tax money on politics. shame, shame, shame on the committee. http://lacey.patch.com/articles/township-solicits-candidates-for-public-safety-director

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