Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Speziale to Keep Pa. Police Job into July

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Speziale to Keep Pa. Police Job into July

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- The city's police director, Jerry Speziale, said Monday that he would continue working two jobs, in Paterson and in Hazelton, Pa., as its interim police chief, for two more months.

When he took on the role in Hazelton in early January, Speziale said he would serve in that position for at most 120 days, a deadline that seemed to be reached this month.

But in an interview Monday, Speziale said the 120-day time period started on March 24, when he said he received his police certification. By late July, Speziale said, he would decide "how to proceed in the future."

"During this time I have worked hard to serve both cities effectively," the director said. "I have not experienced any conflict during this time, and both police departments are functioning well."

Paterson and Hazelton are about 115 miles apart. Speziale's salary for his full-time Paterson job is about $95,000. Hazelton officials previously said they would pay Speziale about $40 per hour for his work there.

In a city where community leaders and elected officials tend to be quick to express their criticisms, Speziale has juggled his two roles without coming under fire from Paterson residents.

"He still takes my calls at 2 o'clock in the morning," said Councilman Andre Sayegh.

'Always available'

"I have not seen any falloff in his performance," said City Council President William McKoy. "He's always been available when I need him."

But McKoy also said the two-job arrangement eventually must come to an end. "I do think it should be a short-term situation. Anything beyond that would be problematic," he said.

Mayor Joey Torres said Hazelton Mayor Jeffrey Cusat told him that he had not yet found a permanent appointee for the Pennsylvania city's police chief job. …

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