Hail to Rumson Police Chief Paterson
Scott Paterson was sworn in as chief on New Year's Day
They like him. They really, really like him.
It wasn't the Oscars. It wasn't Hollywood. But, that was the love-of-a-local-celebrity tone that rang through Bingham Hall when Scott Paterson finished taking his oath as the new chief of the Rumson Police Department in front of a capacity crowd at the borough's New Year's Day reorganization.
Wife by his side and twin children holding the Bible, Paterson was sworn in to the office by Mayor John Ekdahl just after the Borough Council passed the official resolution appointing him chief. Residents, officials, family, friends and officers from both Rumson and Fair Haven packed and lined the hall in a show of their staunch support.
Paterson, a well-known 20-year veteran of the force, did not speak, except to take his oath. But, the audience's reaction when he finished spoke volumes about his popularity in the borough and around the surrounding area.
One of his biggest fans, if not the biggest, was his son, who no sooner let go of the Bible than he started clapping his hands together in a hummingbird-like flutter of happy frenzy.
Ekdahl pointed to a huge banner that hung across the stage at the hall in ode to Paterson's promotion. "The children from the DARE program put this together for him, because they like him so much," Ekdahl said as he pointed to the colorful, autographed "Congrats Chief Paterson" poster.
Paterson was chosen from a pool of three lieutenants in the Rumson Police Department, each having more than 15 years' experience.
The choices were: Paterson, who has been with the borough's police department for roughly 20 years; Jeff Nixon, also a 10-year veteran; and Chris York, a 15-year officer on the job.
The base salary for a lieutenant in Rumson was listed as roughly $109,000, according to state records. The records also said that, as of 2011, Paterson's annual base salary was $112,908 and Tobias' was $128,392.
Paterson's salary as chief was not brought up at the reorganization.
Rumson is what is referred to as a chief's town, where such selection processes are not subject to civil service ranking and eligibility for promotion by primarily seniority.
In this case, for instance, "Rumson created its own promotion/selection process, unlike civil service's, which is defined by the state," Ekdahl said in a previous interview. "All three were took a written test, underwent interviews with the police committee in town, and were evaluated by an outside consultant, Joe Devine, of the firm Devine/Kallenberg, LLC, which is comprised of a few law enforcement folks who have, collectively, about 60 years' worth of experience in the field."
Paterson was named "officer in charge" in the summer. After former Chief Richard Tobias' effective retirement date of Oct. 1, Paterson was named acting chief until the reorganization.
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