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West Caldwell to Promote Eight Officers

Ceremony planned for Tuesday, Oct. 18 at James Caldwell High School.

West Caldwell will promote eight police officers Tuesday at a special council meeting place and time.

The West Caldwell Council meeting has been moved to the Center for the Performing Arts in West Caldwell to accommodate what is expected to be a large attendance. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

West Caldwell Police Lt. Gerard Paris will be promoted to captain. Three sergeants, John Kopf, Thomas Bryant and William Coughlin, will be promoted to lieutenant. And Cpl. Shaun O’Dowd, Det. Declan Beere, Det. Dennis Capriglione and Ptl. Paul Vanikiotis will be promoted to sergeant.

Salaries for sergeants and lieutenants are set by the current collective bargaining agreement between the PBA and the township. The salary range for lieutenant is between $124,975 and $128,272. The salary range for sergeant is between $110,334 and $113,616. 

These salaries do not include longevity pay, Bramhall explained.

The captain’s salary will be set by ordinance by the township’s governing body.

The West Caldwell Police Department is comprised of 23 sworn officers. Following the promotions in mid-October, the make-up of the department will be one chief, one captain, four lieutenants, five sergeants and 12 patrol officers.

The police chief is able to assign patrol officers to be detectives or patrol corporals.

“Promotions are based on a policy set forth by a local ordinance, which can include a written exam, oral interview, and a mixture of seniority, college, military and an evaluation by the chief,” explained Bramhall. 

The final step in all promotions is an interview with the mayor and council. Candidates may apply to waive all or a portion of the exam process and skip to the final interview stage.

Eileen September 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Seems a little top heavy to me-same amount of Chiefs as Indians.
Unity September 29, 2011 at 06:12 PM
If your confused call the Chief and ask i'm sure he will be happy to meet with you and discuss, if your annoyed go to a council meeting and speak your mind otherwise lets be proud that we have a good police department who wants to keep the department at where it should be as far as supervision. They had retirements the last few years and havent promoted to replace those who left.
Rothbard93 September 30, 2011 at 08:44 PM
In a real job your boss tells you that you are promoted and you are on your way. A bog production is when your boss announces it to everyone at a staff meeting. Why all the drama and not to mention expense (with our forcefully extracted money). It's a job promotion not a royal wedding.
wcmom September 30, 2011 at 11:48 PM
I thought there was a discussion/article before to demote some of them because of WC budget issue, now all of a sudden there is money for promotion. Is that serious? Not everybody can go to those municipal/council meetings, some people living in WC have to work two jobs (if lucky enough) to support the family and pay extremely high property taxes. I had a chance to watch one of those meetings on TV where a mayor of the day was a schoolgirl. Our representatives' phones or maybe text messages were buzzing the whole meeting – shame on you! You were elected to represent taxpayers and use common sense - some of WC residents lost their jobs, if eligible collect unemployment or even welfare. Not everybody here works in the city any more. And if it is possible, please give us a link with the information of the requirements and qualifications needed to become a police officer in WC. No doubt, those men deserve a good word for now and only. Be fair to us, taxpayers.
West Caldwell Resident October 01, 2011 at 04:17 PM
There is nothing to do for police in Caldwell / West Caldwell, in these sleepy places. Why are they paid so much? Their work is to hide on Fairfield Ave. or Bloomfield Ave. and watch if you are driving over 25 miles per hour. If these police work in areas like Newark, for example, then it's another situation. But not in Caldwell / West Caldwell !!! Pay them no more then 60K, they do nothing !!!
Mark October 04, 2011 at 12:05 AM
Its no wonder the taxes in West Caldwell are what they are when a lieutenant on the West Caldwell Police Department makes the equivalent of the Police Chief in Newark, NJ. The average salary of a police officer in the State of NJ is $58,000. What does a Lieutenant on the police force do that justifies that kind of salary? How many of these police officers live in West Caldwell? Years ago, many were residents - maybe its time for the towns people to mandate this policy. Regionalized service need to be implemented to reduce the tax burden. Does West Caldwell need garbage collection twice a week? West Essex is served by a volunteer ambulance corp, why not a regional fire department - does West Essex need (5) aerial ladder trucks, (15) 1500 gal/min pumpers, (3) Heavy Rescue Units and an assortment of other apparatus, and (6) modern firehouses better equipped than many of the firehouses in the largest cities in the United States.
Mark October 04, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Police salaries stack up well when compared with other professions. The average municipal police salary last year was $89,630, compared to the state’s average per capita income of $50,313. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show municipal police make more than civil engineers ($87,090), architects ($85,050) and rank-and-file firefighters ($71,810). They make less than dentists ($154,130), veterinarians ($117,170) and real estate brokers ($96,240). Federal data on 2009 wages also show New Jersey officers are the best paid in the country — the median salary for municipal and sheriff patrol officers is $80,120. (That’s lower than The Star-Ledger’s calculation for median salary, which includes superior officers.) New Jersey is rivaled only by California at $78,460, according to the federal statistics. Illinois trails in third with $69,900. New York is ninth at $60,620, Connecticut 10th at $60,490, and Pennsylvania 19th at $54,140.
Chickie October 05, 2011 at 01:14 AM
One would think that these people would stop bitching about the salaries of our police officers and take a moment to appreciate all that they do for our community on a daily basis. It is because of their hard work, commitment, and dedication that our town is safe. Perhaps, instead of always being so negative, we should be saying thank you to Chief Bramhall and the West Caldwell Police Department for a job well-done!!!
wcmom October 05, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Mark, thank you for your interesting information. I was wondering what West Caldwell senior citizens with fixed income would say about this promotion.
Townie October 12, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Everybody stop and take a breath. Now try to remember the last time you left your home and familly to go to work mindful that there was the possibility that you might be shot, stabed or phsyically attacked. Not to mention the potential to be struct down by a passing motorist because your job required you to exit your vehicle to assist someone. Now think about what it would be like if that was a real possibiliy every time you went to work. Oh, and WC Resident...$60K really? With an average shift lasting 12 hrs over 52 weeks your talking about $19.23 p/hr. My landscaper charges $45 p/hr for the services of his labors. Would you put your life on the line to protect others for $19.23 an hour?????
Chickie October 13, 2011 at 12:35 AM
Bravo Townie!!!!
wcmom October 13, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Townie, I am really happy for you that you can afford to have a landscaper, unfortunately, we have to do all chores ourselves. There is no doubt, police department does a good job, but please, do not take a taxpayer a hostage – our property taxes need to be under control.
Tony DaSilva October 19, 2011 at 02:27 AM
I can understand a raise...But this type of promotions are nothing but a racket...a force of 23 with 12 corporals...Shame on you Chief. And at the end of 20 years of "work" I have to pay for your pension...Forever..How can we complain about the mafia when this type of actions are legal...Legal stealing from our pockets that's what it is!!!!!
Kevin B October 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Where in this article does it say there are 12 Corporals? It does say there will be 12 patrol officers. Also, in NJ the Police Pension is after 25 years, not 20 as you said. Get your facts right Tony D.
HP1 October 19, 2011 at 12:31 PM
DaSilva, The police department only has 4 corporals. As far as pensions are concerned, police in NJ contribute the highest percentage rate of any public employees towards their pensions. The state and many towns have skipped payments into the system for many years and now the public employees of New Jersey, the police in particular, are contributing even more into the pension system. If you knew the men being promoted, you would find that many of them have been here for more than 20 years, one has been here since the 70's! No one is retiring in 20 years as you say. They are also tax paying citizens of the state and many of them of the Township of West Caldwell. These promotions were long overdue and are the result of a negotiation with the town in which each police officer gave back a percentage of their salary. Bet you didn't know that either. Also, those of you who question what these fine men do on a daily basis, know this, the Chief doesn't put out a press release on everything these guys do becuase they are professionals and just do their jobs as they are paid to do. You will never know of every fight they have with a suspect, every scumbag they lock up or of every life they save, becuase they do not look for praise. As stated before, get your facts straight.

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