Madison Police is an opportunity for the borough's governing body and administrators to discuss all aspects of the police department and its table of organization, the Borough Council president said Thursday.
Addressing the vacancy in the department's top spot is more than a matter of picking a new chief, Borough Council President Jeannie Tsukamoto said Thursday.
The department's structure, services, staffing levels and ideas to run the department more efficiently "are all good things to talk about at this point," according to Tsukamoto, the liaison to the police department.
"It's not just putting a name there," she said. "We really have to look at everything. At least that's my intent. We really have to have a comprehensive discussion."
She said that's the case any time there is a vacancy in the borough.
Because the discussion likely would involve personnel, the talks probably would take place in executive session, and, if officials were ready to act on any measures, then votes would be held in public.
She said the process and timing for filling the vacancy are among the topics that could be discussed at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 13, at . The Mayor and Council meet in closed session at 7 p.m. and the public portion of the meeting starts at 8 p.m.
When Vincent Chirico retired as Madison's chief in 2008, Trevena, then a captain, was appointed acting chief at the next Borough Council meeting and then was appointed chief in 2009 after Chirico finished collecting accrued sick and vacation time.
Since then, the captain position has not been filled and the number of officers has been reduced. Now, there are two lieutenants, Darren Dachisen, who is the officer in charge, and Jerry Mantone. Additionally, there are five sergeants and 19 patrol officers.
The departure of Trevena brings the number of officers to 26. About a week before he retired, Trevena, with the involvement of Borough Administrator Ray Codey and Assistant Borough Administrator Jim Burnet, made a recommendation for the next officer to be hired, a position included in the 2012 budget, Tsukamoto said.
The hiring of that candidate also could be discussed at the meeting. Tsukamoto said she hopes hiring a new officer will allow the Alcohol and Narcotics Task Force to be reinstated, preferably before school starts in September.
Tsukamoto said it's important for Madison to make the best decisions about the for now and into the future.
"Safety is a very basic, basic need of all the residents," she said. "It affects everyone in town."