Lacey Township has placed an advertisement with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for a public safety director to lead the Police Department, although a decision has yet to be made regarding which direction the Committee will choose to replace retired Chief of Police William Nally, Mayor David Most said.
“We’re looking at options right now. We’re doing due diligence. We have the opportunity where a chief retired. We’ll use the vetting process, and we’ll do what’s good for Lacey Township,” Most said.
Public safety director is just an “option,” and the township will be interviewing potential candidates, Most said.
“We’re just seeing the latest and greatest and what’s working and what’s not working. We have to go through that process. We have to interview,” he said.
The advertisement for Public Safety Director states that the township is accepting applications until Friday, Feb. 8, anticipating filling the position by Monday, April 1.
According to the job listing, which was posted on Jan. 11, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
Minimum 20 years’ experience with a law enforcement agency in New Jersey maintaining a table of organization, which includes 45 or more sworn law enforcement officers; minimum 15 years’ law enforcement supervisory experience; minimum 5 years’ experience as chief or director of a law enforcement agency in New Jersey; or commensurate experience with a law enforcement entity; must display excellent communications skills and the ability to maintain a harmonious relationship between the Police Department, emergency service squads and the community.
Although the township has received inquiries regarding the position, dating back to Nally’s announcement for retirement, no applications have been submitted, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.
To hire a public safety director, the township would have to create the position by passing an ordinance, she previously said.
With all options on the table, the township has yet to begin the process necessary to replace Nally with a traditional chief, Laureigh said.
“Obviously we have some highly qualified individuals in the police department,” Most said. “It’s just an opportunity to look at options. That’s our job as a Committee, to do the best for Lacey Township. We’re not pushing for the public safety director.”
To move forward with a police chief, the township could call for a civil service exam, which is not required, for all qualified lieutenants and captains, Laureigh said. Otherwise, they can promote the most qualified candidate.
If a civil service exam is issued, based on the test, the Township Committee would choose to appoint a chief from the three candidates with the highest scores, she previously said.
From those three, the committee can conduct interviews, selecting the best for the position, she said. The committee must be able to justify why the other two candidates was not selected.
Nally announced his retirement in a letter to the Committee on Nov. 19. Capt. David Paprota was temporarily appointed as Officer in Charge on Jan. 10.