There's a man in charge of the Rumson Police Department, but he won't have the official title of chief until the start of the new year.
Lt. Scott Paterson, a 20-year borough police veteran, has been chosen to take the reigns from 25-year retiring Chief Richard Tobias, who is no longer on the job, but has "accrued enough sick/vacation time to stay on the books until Oct. 1," Mayor John Ekdahl said.
Noting that Tobias will be missed for his years of dedication to protecting and serving the residents of Rumson, Ekdahl said that Paterson, who underwent a competitive selection process, "was a wonderful choice as the new chief of police for the borough."
Paterson was chosen from a pool of three lieutenants in the Rumson police department, each having more than 15 years' police experience in town.
"All had achieved the rank of lieutenant," the mayor said. "We had devised a very good, thorough selection process. There was a lot of difficulty in choosing among the very distinguished three."
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.
Ekdahl said that Paterson's salary as chief is still being negotiated and will not become effective until after he is sworn in.
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. "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 is now officially "officer in charge," and has been since Aug. 1, according to a borough resolution appointing him as such. Tobias will officially retain the title of chief until Oct. 1, his set retirement date, when Paterson will remain officer in charge until his swearing in on New Year's Day 2013 at the borough's traditional reorganization meeting at Bingham Hall.
Patch will catch up with Paterson for a future profile. In the meantime, tell us what you think of the choice and leave retirement wishes for Chief Tobias in the comments section below.