The layoffs of the five most junior officers in the Galloway Township Police Department were rescinded due to the announced retirements of five senior officers, Police Chief Patrick Moran announced on Wednesday night, Dec. 19.
Lt. Tom Davey, Lt. Paul Dooner, Sgt. Troy Midgette, Cpl. Mike Goldberg, and Cpl. Harvey Bird have all made application to the pension to retire as of Jan. 1, according to Moran. He said the five officers retired to save the junior officers from being laid off.
"We will be working on reorganizing to address the needs of the public and the department over the next few weeks," Moran said in a statement issued Wednesday night. "The department will be at 48 officers as of Jan. 1. However, the department remains committed to providing quality police service and will remain focused on answering emergency calls for service and investigating major crimes and incidents going into 2013."
Arch Liston said layoffs would be necessary when he first took over as township manager earlier this year. In the fall, he issued intent to lay off notices to 90 percent of the township's employees, and later said five police officers may be laid off.
This was prior to the announced retirements. Liston rescinded the order Wednesday night, Moran said. He said a restructuring would be necessary. It was the first one since 2010.
The 2010 restructuring resulted in the department consisting of one chief, one captain, four lieutenants, seven sergeants, eight corporals and 48 officers, for a total force of 69. There were 61 by the end of the year.
The most recent restructuring left the department with one chief, one captain, five sergeants, four corporals and 48 officers, for a total force of 59.
"As the Chief, I want to acknowledge and commend those who are retiring for the selfless gesture to save others positions and thank them all for their outstanding service to Galloway Township," Moran said. "We are losing over 130 years of combined experience, supervision, and expertise and the loss of these supervisors will definitely create some significant challenges. They were all “go to” people and the loss of their knowledge and experience will be felt; I wish them well and good luck in retirement."