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New Cop Hires Violate Code, Police Chief Admits

The two new hires would boost the police force in town to 32, and may violate the village's nepotism policy, report says.

An offer of employment from the police department to two Ridgewood residents violated village code, NorthJersey.com reported.

According to the report, Police Chief John Ward was at a Village Council meeting this week to discuss the offers of hire he made to two residents who are related to current and former Ridgewood officers on Jan. 17.

The hires would boost the number of officers in town to 32, two more than currently allowed, the report said.

The chief may have also violated the village's nepotism policy, which NorthJersey.com reported requires the council to approve hires who are related to employees.

At the meeting, Ward said he was unaware of the 30-officer cap, and petitioned the council to create a retroactive amendment to the code that would allow for 32 officers instead, the report said.

Julianne Dinice January 31, 2014 at 11:21 AM
First of all, there are not even enough officers in Ridgewood as it is. Second of all, my brother is one of these new hires that was just told a night before the start of his career that he's not hired anymore. There was no nepotism involved, and the word is being thrown around way too casually. My brother scored higher than a 98 on the police test and passed all other assessments with flying colors. He was not hired because of his relations; he was hired because he is best fit for the job.
Simon Templar January 31, 2014 at 11:59 AM
But it's okay for the Council to violate a local ordinance by accepting gifts and donations from developers with applications pending before the Planning Board? This doesn't pass the smell test at all.
Ron Verdicchio January 31, 2014 at 01:28 PM
The police candidates that are the subject of this latest embarrassment by the Village Council majority appear to be qualified by a rigorous process. The mayor and council majority could have taken steps to amend the ordinance instead they got into a shouting match with citizens, then blamed the police chief. How far we have fallen...
James Bombace January 31, 2014 at 03:11 PM
Mr. Verdicchio, with all due respect the comments you made just before the end of the meeting were way over the top. I am embarrassed that a Police Professional would speak and act in such a manner at a public Village Council Meeting.
RidgeWoodie January 31, 2014 at 03:28 PM
The comments were made by Mr. Frank Delvecchio, not by Mr. Ron Verdicchio.
James Bombace January 31, 2014 at 04:38 PM
RidgeWoodie, yea, I should have put Frank's first name in my comment. I know he reads articles on Patch and I hope he sees my comments.
Ron Verdicchio January 31, 2014 at 05:14 PM
Jim, For once, I can say not guilty!
Long Time Resident January 31, 2014 at 05:29 PM
Ron, No you are not! Because you always conduct yourself in a respectful and honorable manner. Now that, you must admit, you are guilty of......
paul smith February 01, 2014 at 12:40 PM
The nepotism law was not meant to bar truly qualified applicants for jobs. These folks went thru the grueling process and apparently passed with flying colors... as far as applying this law in this instance....Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist was absolutely correct....I hope this wrong gets righted...
Allen Sr February 01, 2014 at 05:20 PM
The bigger issue is Ridgewood has something over 25,000 residents. Whether it is 30 or 32 cops that just seems like nothing but a token effort. Divided into 24 hours and 7 days a week 365 days a year and 5 or 6 square miles that gives us very little. Just think of how long it takes you to drive from West Ridgewood Ave to the Park and Ride on 17 in the middle of the day?
disgusted February 02, 2014 at 08:17 AM
The state police ucr report said RWD police should have 56 cops, the RPD has one of the lowest police per thousand resident ratio in Bergen county they are getting by on a wing and a prayer, good luck can't last forever.
dbc1 February 02, 2014 at 09:06 AM
Where is HR, administration and Village Council in all of this? It sounds like no procedures in place to ensure approvals happen BEFORE offers are extended, or this would have been caught ahead of time and handled accordingly. Ridgewood, we have to start acting, and not reacting, to everything. I feel bad for the young recruits who are surely disappointed. Failure of management.

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