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Mahwah Finally Has A New Police Chief

photo courtesy of Mahwah Strong

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, After weeks of delays Mahwah has a new police chief . Captain Jaffe was finally appointed Police Chief by a 5-2 Vote . After weeks of tabling the vote on the mayoral appointment for police chief, Mahwah can now officially call Stephen Jaffe, Chief of Police.

The town council has approved the mayoral appointment by a 5-2 vote at tonight’s special council meeting with Ferguson, Ariemma, Paz, Wong and May voting yes and Wysocki and Ervin voting no.

According to the group Mahwah Strong on February 24th, Mayor John Roth appointed Captain Stephen Jaffe to replace retiring Chief James Batelli. The appointment requires approval by the town council.

At February 27th’s Special Council Meeting, council members interviewed Jaffe for over two and a half hours in closed session. They then started to vote on approving his appointment, but the vote was stopped by a motion to table by George Ervin seconded by Jim Wysocki (Ervin, Wysocki, Crow-Paz and May voted to table). They requested the opportunity to interview the other candidates considered for the position which they did.

At the next regularly scheduled meeting on March 7th, Council President May made a motion to table the resolution again and Ervin, Wysocki, Crow-Paz, May and Ferguson voted to table.

At this Thursday’s council meeting, at 11pm, after a 90 minute closed session, a motion was made by Councilwoman Ariemma to vote on approving Jaffe as police chief (This was “Resolution 100-19” on Thursday’s agenda under “Old Business” with no additional description). No other council member would second the motion to allow the vote to occur.

Many in the town were justifiably baffled by this behavior by the Council. By every measure, Jaffe is an eminently qualified, seasoned officer and leader with in an impeccable record of service. He is a Mahwah resident, a 25 year veteran of the Mahwah PD, and served as Chief Batelli’s second-in-command. What possible reason could 6 of the 7 council members have for refusing to even vote on his appointment?

Questions were raised in the interest of transparency, and many residents were called upon the council to explain their decision making process. 

Video is available at the 35 second mark at the link below:

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