Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Molinelli Oks Regional Swat Team

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Molinelli Oks Regional Swat Team

Article excerpt

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli has approved a plan that calls for creating a regionalized SWAT team and divvying up K- 9 duties between the Sheriff's Office and Bergen County Police Department.

The K-9 directive by the prosecutor could be put in place as early as April 16, but prior to that date, the Sheriff's Office and county police can submit plans with alternatives that could ultimately lead to changes. It's not clear when the directive for a regional SWAT team will take effect.

Molinelli, who was unavailable for comment on Friday, committed to exploring shared services among the law enforcement agencies in the midst of an 18-month-long debate about consolidating county police services that came to an abrupt halt in October when a county ordinance to dissolve the 89-member county police and transfer their jobs to lesser-paid positions within the Sheriff's Office was narrowly defeated.

The defeat was a major victory for County Executive Kathleen Donovan, who had sued the freeholders arguing that they lacked the power to disband a county department without her consent.

Donovan couldn't comment on the report Friday because she had not received a copy from the Prosecutor's Office, said Jeanne Baratta, Donovan's chief of staff.

The prosecutor approved the findings of the Law Services Memo Review Board in a report released Friday. The Law Services memo is considered an annual directive the prosecutor issues to all law enforcement agencies in the county that is filed with the state Attorney General's Office.

At last year's board meeting, a committee was established to consider whether the various SWAT, K-9 and bomb squad responders throughout Bergen County could be organized in a more efficient manner. The move to regionalize is designed to reduce duplication of services, increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars. …

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