The standing-room crowd watches a power-point presentation on the merger proposal; Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, left, who initiated the idea, addresses the crowd, and Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge listens.
Elected officials exploring the idea of merging the police departments of Fair Haven, Little Silver and Rumson got off with a series of stern warnings from their constituents last night.
A crowd of about 150 squeezed into Little Silver’s borough hall to demand that the mayors of the three towns provide greater transparency on the process and hold a referendum before consolidating the three departments, which now employ a combined 46 officers.
And in a public display of dissent that’s rare for the three cozy bedroom communities, the police chiefs of all three departments said that even a take-it-slow approach proposed to test a possible merger would hamper their ability to provide adequate coverage of their towns.
“We would lose manpower” even in the first phase of the plan, under which existing, informal sharing of police resources would be fomalized, Little Silver Chief Shannon Giblin told redbankgreen at the conclusion of the two-hour meeting.