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Police Study Results 'Nothing Earth-Shattering,' PBA President Says

Public to hear results of report on achieving efficiencies in police department from outside consultant.

Montville Township Committee members and the public will hear results from a study of the township's police department during a presentation at Tuesday's township committee meeting.

The presentation by the Matrix Consulting Group, hired to conduct the police department study, will begin at 7 p.m. at the township municipal building on Changebridge Road. But Tom Mooney, president of Montville Police Benevolent Association Local 140, the police labor union, said the results that will be presented are in-line with recommendations made by the department several years ago.

"There's nothing earth-shattering in this report," Mooney said.

In January, to examine areas for efficiencies in the police department. According to Township Administrator Victor Canning, this includes consideration of staffing, scheduling, workload, deployment and more.

"You're looking to see if there's a better way of doing things," he said.

Canning said the timing of the study, with recommendations being discussed toward the end of the year, as retirements and resignations are formalized, is intentional. Six police department employees have indicated their plans to leave, Canning said, five of whom are superiors.

"We're going to have a big change in these upper level supervisors," Canning said. "The timing of this was all done, in a sense, with purpose."

Montville Township Police Chief Richard Cook was unavailable for comment but Canning said no changes would be put in place until the retirements are effective and that the township is not looking to lay off officers.

"We're not looking to hurt anyone. What we're looking to do would be through attrition," he said.

Mooney said the study was, in his opinion, a waste of taxpayer money.

"What this town council needs to do is get a relationship going and some communication going with the chief of police instead of paying for studies," he said. "They need to sit down with the administrator and chief of police and work out what needs to be done in the department."

The public will be able to ask questions about the report's findings Tuesday night, as the presentation of the results of the study was even part of the contractual obligations of Matrix. While time will be allocated specifically for discussion on the study, Canning said that Tuesday will not be the last the public hears of the study.

"I think this is just the very beginning in the sense of letting everybody digest what the recommendations are and having the chief and I sit down and come to a conclusion as to whether we concur with their suggestions," he said.

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