Barnegat Police To Get A New Chief

Photo courtesy of the Barnegat Police Department

BARNEGAT – Barnegat Police Department has declared that Lt. Keith Germain will be the new Chief of Police beginning in Feb. 2018.

Germain, 44, has been with the department for 23 years and has been involved in nearly every aspect of policing during this time, according to Mayor Albert Bille.

With the impending retirement of current Police Chief Richard Dugan, the Township Committee chose to appoint Germain as the next chief based on resident approval and Germain’s long history with the department, he said.

In a photo from March, Mayor Albert Bille, left, swears in Police Chief Richard Dugan, center, with Lt. Keith Germain. (Photo courtesy Barnegat Township)

“Residents acknowledged the fact that he was an outstanding choice,” said Bille.

According to township information, Germain has served as a dispatcher, a Class II Special Officer, a patrol officer, a detective, and the founding member of the Narcotics Unit and Barnegat SWAT Team, among many other duties. Germain has also been the department’s Media Relations Officer and an instructor for the Ocean County Police Academy since 2000. A strong leader and well-versed officer, Germain’s accomplishments have made him the best candidate for the position, the township’s release stated.

According to Bille, the residents’ positive response to Germain in the community was very strong, but it was only part of the decision-making process.

Germain’s good standing with the Township Committee was born out of a long and respectable history with the department as well as a strong, reliable character as an officer, he said. Germain worked side by side with the chief even before it was announced that he would be taking the title on himself.

Germain is always there and ready to help, even when he’s not physically there, said Bille.

Dugan had been promoted to chief earlier this year, and his contract was slated to end on Jan. 31, 2018. He had taken over after the former chief, Arthur Drexler, was suspended. There had been a disagreement between Drexler and the governing body over the use of comp time. Ultimately, it dragged into court. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the case and stated it was a misunderstanding over unclear language in the contract, and that there was no criminal intent. He was exonerated of all charges and his status changed to separated from the department. He retired after 31 years.