Long Branch – The Long Branch City Council introduced an ordinance last night, April 14th that will eliminate the position of Police Chief once current Chief of Police, Jason Roebuck, retires June 1, 2021.
This decision comes as a response to the Police Audit that was completed in 2020 which suggested reorganizing the department.
“We had a Public Safety Director position run the Police Department for 40 years in our city and I am happy that it will now continue that way again,” Council Vice President Dr. Mary Jane Celli said.
The city hired a Director of Public Safety in December of 2020 who will continue to be in charge of police operations as well as the fire department and office of emergency management. The Director has also been tasked with examining the department’s current organizational structures and bringing any suggestions he has for improvements/cost savings.
“We see this as a huge savings as the salary of the police chief is one of the highest in the city,” said Mayor John Pallone. “Having a Public Safety Director in our city lets the governing body have more input and oversight in the operation of the police department.”
“We are taking the advice we received from the Police Audit and we also are happy to be saving resident tax dollars in the process,” Council President Mario Vieira said.
“We wish Chief Roebuck the best of luck in his retirement and we thank him for his many years of service,” Mayor Pallone stated.
During the Team Schneider administration, Roebuck was a captain on the police force and was elevated to the Public Safety Director, a position he held until the Schneider created the Chief of Police position. The original plan also called for two deputy chief positions, but that never materialized.