It's cheaper than a gold watch.
The title of Deputy Police Chief will go to retiring Capt. Richard Casagrand, purely to honor him for his years of service, township officials said at a special council meeting Friday morning.
The council approved the an ordinance creating the position in a 4 to 1 vote at the meeting this morning. Councilwoman Fran Siddons cast the no vote.
There is no salary increase or pension benefits as a result of the title, both Township Administrator Christopher Reid and Chief Financial Officer Frederick Ebenau said.
Casagrand retires in December.
"It's more of a recognition that's being given by the town instead of a gold watch," Township Adminstrator Christopher Reid said.
The deputy chief position was eliminated back in 2009, when Democratic Mayor Jason J. Varano was in office and Democrats had control of the seven-member Township Council.
Varano appointed current Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele in August 2011, after longtime chief John E. Weinlein III retired after 34 years in the department. Varano said then the appointment was his to make, under the Faulkner Act, the township's form of government.
Varano called for the certified Civil Service list with the scores of the five police officers who had taken the test for chief. Number one on the list was then-Lt. Karen T. DiMichele, who was commander of the night patrol shift. DiMichele was not only the top scorer in the department, she was first in the state.
Varano and other administration officials interviewed the top three candidates reviewed their files and discussed the choice with the Township Council's public safety committee.
The mayor settled on DiMichele after reviewing her test score, coupled with her education - which includes a master's degree in criminal justice - and 16 years experience on the force, he said.
But the Republican members of the then-Township Council - Township Council President Karen Davis and Councilman Carmen F. Amato Jr. - said they had not had enough input in the selection.
They introduced an ordinance at the July 26, 2011 council meeting that would give them more input into appointments and the right to reject candidates the township administration has chosen.
Casagrand was one of five police department members who took the Civil Service test for chief. DiMichele was the top scorer on the test, with 92.5 out of 100. Casagrand was second with 87.2, followed by Robert A. Andrews, 86.9, Curtis E. Drumhiller, 79.1, and Christian Roth, 78.04.