Freeholders Reject Bergen County Police, Sheriff Merger [POLL]
Effort to eliminate county police department is defeated in 3-2 vote.
The Bergen County Freeholders on Wednesday voted against an ordinance to disband the county’s 89-member police department and merge it with the sheriff’s office, northjersey.com reported.
The vote came after more than a year of debate, two studies and legal action. In a 3-2 vote with two abstentions, the board nixed the ordinance after initially approving it on first reading in August with a 4-2 vote.
County Executive Kathleen Donovan, a strong supporter of the county police, had vowed to veto a vote to disband the department and called the idea “idiotic” at a freeholder work session.
Freeholders Maura DeNicola and Robert Hermansen voted against the merger, along with Freeholder David Ganz, who first voted for the measure in August. Freeholders John Driscoll and Joan Voss abstained, while John Mitchell and John Felice voted in favor, the report said.
A study released last year by Guidepost Solutions recommended eliminating the county police department, while a task force formed by Donovan rejected the consultant’s conclusion. Donovan and fellow Republican Sheriff Michael Saudino have repeatedly sparred on the issue.
Donovan had sued to stop the freeholder vote and a non-binding referendum on the consolidation, leading a judge to block the public vote. A Bergen County GOP poll obtained by The Record found voters favored merging the county police into the sheriff’s office.
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