BARNEGAT – The Township Committee appointed Capt. Richard Dugan as police chief at last night’s council meeting.
Committeeman Frank Caputo welcomed the “tranquility and leadership he will bring back to our police and community.”
Dugan had been acting chief since last year, waiving any additional pay he would have been allowed, officials said. The captain position he was leaving will not be replaced. Lieutenants will be the next rank, Committeeman John Novak said.
Committeeman Alfonso Cirulli noted that this decision was made with the police on board to make sure they can operate effectively and safely without any captains.
Dugan took over the administration of the police department after the former chief, Arthur Drexler, was suspended. Drexler and the governing body disagreed on how his use of comp time was being given. Ultimately, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office declared that it was a misunderstanding over unclear language in his contract, and that he was not criminally taking advantage of it. He was exonerated of all charges and his status changed to separated from the department and retired after 31 years.
At the meeting appointing Dugan, a resident asked if there were uniform standards by which a municipality should record the accrual of comp time.
Township Attorney Jerry Dasti said that there are no standards. Each town has its own rules. Based on recent history, this town will establish rules.
Dugan’s contract began retroactively on February 1, 2017, the same day Drexler’s contract was settled to end. Dugan’s contract will run until January 31, 2018.