CLIFFVIEW PILOT SPECIAL REPORT: New Milford swore in six new police lieutenants Monday night and is preparing to replace them with six new sergeants, which will bring the borough closer to the standard number of supervisors necessary for proper department operations.
New Milford’s new lieutenants (PHOTO: Brett M. Dzadik)
“The past few years have been difficult for the department,” Chief Frank Papapietro told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “Yet our officers continued their high level of professionalism throughout and are finally beginning to see movement in a positive direction.”
The department had been operating for some time with a single lieutenant and detective sergeant, no captains at all, and only five sergeants due to retirements and budget cuts, said Papapietro, who frequently has found ways to do more with less. As a result, patrol officers often ended up doing work above their rank, he said.
This left the borough open to liability in case something went wrong and no supervisors were working.
For other potential ramifications, New Milford officials had to look no further than Englewood Cliffs, where the police union won a grievance against the municipality for the number of officers working out of title.
Those officers now have to be compensated.
Results of the sergeant’s test taken by patrol officers this week for the six positions vacated by the promotions should be available any day, officials said.
“I can’t emphasize enough the spirit of today’s officers,” Papapietro told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “They have become demonized to the public, yet come to work every day facing injury or death. They’re told they’re greedy yet raise thousands of dollars for charities. They’re told they’re overpaid, yet deal with situations you couldn’t pay the average citizen to do.
“I’ve found over the years that our biggest critics are people who couldn’t even become police officers, yet they are experts on police work.”
ABOVE, left to right:
Lt. John O’Mally,
Lt. Stephen Littlefield,
Lt. Robert Jones,
Lt. Kevin Kiene,
Lt. Frank Ramaci,
Lt. Thomas Johnson
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