Chief Darren McConnell at the police station in 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell acknowledged Saturday that he’d had a relationship with a former “significant other” of a department employee “years ago,” but none since.
The admission came two days after the police union accused McConnell of engaging in “numerous inappropriate and questionable sexual relationships with the significant others'” of department personnel, as well as alleged ethical lapses that led to “no confidence” vote by local members last month.
PBA president Mike Zadlock, at table, addressing the council while the union’s executive committee members stood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
[See CLARIFICATION below]
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s police union accused Chief Darren McConnellof “numerous inappropriate and questionable sexual relationships” with employees and other alleged ethical lapses Thursday night.
The allegations, aired during a council meeting, came a month after a previously undisclosed “no confidence” vote by Police Benevolent Local 39, and almost two weeks after McConnell had been expected to retire.
Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell on Broad Street after the Red Bank Classic 5K Saturday.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Darren McConnell, Red Bank’s police chief and interim administrator, plans to retire next month, he told redbankgreen Saturday.
McConnell’s exit means the incoming mayor and council will now have to fill the top two administrative jobs at borough hall while implementing a new “council-manager” form of government approved in a voter referendum last November.
And there’s an outside chance McConnell could return as the manager.
Screengrab from a post by Nina Ferrante on the Red Bank New Jersey Facebook page Sunday. (Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s police chief disputed a claim of excessive force posted on Facebook Sunday, telling redbankgreen that there was “no physical contact at all” when officers encountered a couple on New Jersey Transit property Saturday night.
Police Chief Steve McCarthy in 2010.(Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)
Members of the Red Bank Police Benevolent Association plan a memorial bike ride this week for the late Chief Steve McCarthy, who died last September.
Thursday’s 25-mile ride to Brielle, expected to include between 50 and 70 officers and civilians, falls one day before the annual Police Unity Tour, in which cops bike to Washington, D.C. in honor of law enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty.
Darren McConnell chats with Mary Ellen McCarthy, the widow of late Red Bank Police Chief Steve McCarthy, shortly before his swearing-in as McCarthy’s sucessor Wednesday evening.
McConnnell, 44, joined the department as 19-year-old patrolman, shortly after his graduation from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and served most recently as a captain. He’ll earn a starting salary of $133,414 to oversee the 40-person department.
Also sworn in were four new patrolmen, including Cevin Albert, a Red Bank native who has worked in the department since 2008 as a dispatcher. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Captain Darren McConnell is expected to be named chief of the Red Bank police department at Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, redbankgreen has learned. McConnell has been the officer in charge of the department since the September 23 death of Chief Steve McCarthy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Southbound Riverside Avenue in Red Bank will be closed for about an hour Friday morning for the funeral of police Chief Steve McCarthy, which begins at the John E. Day Funeral Home, at left above. (Click to enlarge)
Red Bank commuters may encounter delays or detours Friday morning during the funeral cortege for police Chief Steve McCarthy, police said.
With numerous vehicles expected to assemble at the John E. Day Funeral Home on Riverside Avenue for a procession to a church in Long Branch, southbound Route 35 along Riverside Avenue will be closed for about an hour before the procession gets underway at 9:30 a.m., Captain Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.
The procession will also include a brief stop of the hearse outside the police station, at 90 Monmouth Street, and a silent tribute by Red Bank volunteer firefighters outside St. James Church on Broad Street, McConnell said.
“I have lost a good friend and invaluable partner,” Menna said in a statement released at noontime. “The police department has been deprived of the spirited leadership and unstinted dedication of the most consummate law enforcement professional in the state. His fellow borough employees have lost a colleague who was a true friend. The residents of Red Bank have been deprived of an intelligent, gracious, gentle and efficient public servant.”
“The whole department is beside itself with grief,” police Commissioner and Council President Art Murphy told redbankgreen. “Everybody in [borough hall] is taking it very hard.”
Acting Chief Steve McCarthy is expected to be sworn in Sunday to formally take command of Red Bank’s 41-officer police department, redbankgreen has learned.
McCarthy, right, follows retired Chief Mark Fitzgerald, who stepped down in November after seven years at the helm. Fitzgerald has been burning off accumulated vacation time since then, and officially ends his role as a borough employee tomorrow.
McCarthy said he could not confirm that he would be sworn in at the borough government reorganization meeting on Sunday, when elected officials have said they will identify their choice from among the four police captains eligible for the job.
This installment of our regular Red Bank crime wrapup includes two weeks of police reports instead of the usual one. As always, the information below was supplied by the Red Bank Police Department and appears here unedited.
Week of June 26 to July 3, 2009
Criminal Mischief occurring Riverside Ave. between 6-27-09 and 6-28-09. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke the windshield wiper arm off of vehicle. Ptl. David Hicks.
Criminal Mischief occurring in Marine Park on 6-28-09. Report of a port-a-john being knocked over on to its side by unknown person(s). Ptl. George Travostino.
Criminal Mischief occurring on Oakland St. on 6-28-09. A Latino male was seen breaking a lamp attached to a restaurant and knocking over temporary stop signs at the intersection and breaking sand bags. Ptl. Paul Perez.
Chief Darren McConnell speaking at an event in 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office amended its policy on internal-affairs investigations into matters involving relatives of local police chiefs in February, the agency told redbankgreen Monday.
But the changes were “not formulated as a reaction to any one specific matter,” the MCPO said in a statement that appeared to contradict an assertion made last week by Red Bank’s police union about borough police Chief Darren McConnell.
McConnell said the statement bares “another misrepresentation of the facts by the PBA.”
Red Bank officials this week began to address one of the foremost complaints about the downtown Broadwalk zone: the presence of “ugly” orange safety barrels used to supplement steel bollards installed last year.