No Police Chief in Cape May

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CAPE MAY, NJ – It was a rare scene in Cape May.  A room in Convention Hall was crowded, not with tourists, but with reporters and camera crews (three Philadelphia TV stations, no less.)

Cape May Mayor Edward Mahaney, City Attorney Anthony Monzo, and City Manager Bruce MacLeod were there to defend the controversial demotion of popular Police Chief Robert Sheehan.

The story is confusing, at best. The issue hinges on the filing of comp time by a subordinate officer.  City Council voted to demote the Police Chief March 2.

No Police Chief 

While that controversy bubbles and boils, one thing is clear:  Cape May now has no chief law enforcement officer.  The officials say there is no one on Cape May’s current police force who is eligible to become chief.

Mitchell Sklar, the executive director of the New Jersey Association of Police Chiefs says a police department needs a clear chain of command. Uncertainty, he said, is a recipe for disaster.

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Sklar says  it’s his understanding that Sheehan has exhibited exemplary leadership.

Almost two dozen local residents agreed. They assembled outside the meeting room today, to express their concerns about the controversial demotion.  They say Sheehan did a fine job. They want their chief back.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak is a journalist, a gardener and a Cape Island resident. She's also Cape May Times' photographer. She founded Cape May Times after a long and lively career in TV news.