Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo has taken control of the Clark Township Police Department through a process known as “supersession,” which permits the the county’s chief law enforcement officer to supervise the responsibilities of local police departments within the county.
Effective immediately Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced Ruotolo will run the law enforcement and internal affairs functions while her office conducts a full inquiry into credible allegations of misconduct involving the leadership of the Clark Township Police Department.
“The residents of Clark Township deserve police leaders that meet the highest standards of the profession. We will conduct a full inquiry into credible allegations of misconduct, and at the same time we will continue to work with our local partners to build greater trust between Clark’s law enforcement officers and the community they serve.”
UCPO Captain Harvey Barnwell will serve as Officer-in-Charge of the township’s police department. He will be assisted by UCPO Lieutenant Cassie Kim, who will assume responsibility for the department’s internal affairs unit, and UCPO Sergeant Andrew Dellaquila, who will provide support on a temporary basis.
Residents who have information relevant to the investigation are encouraged to contact Lt. Brian O’Malley of the UCPO Professional Standards Unit at 908-220-4323 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Det. Dennis Donovan of the UCPO Special Prosecutions Unit at 732-232-2049 or email@example.com.
This is the second police department in the county that the UCPO has taken over in the past week. The UCPO took over the Fanwood Police Department after Police Chief Richard Trigo stepped down following an audio recording that appeared to reveal Trigo making alleged racist and sexist comments surfaced.
Last year, Grewal forced Mayor J. Christian Bollwage to oust Elizabeth’s police director, James Cosgrove, who resigned after authorities proved he used racist and sexist words to refer to employees. Bollwage appointed Cosgrove in 1998.
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