Up in rank for bluecoats

HARRISON –

It was a big day for the boys in blue in Harrison at the Feb 23 meeting of the municipal governing body.

Seven members of the HPD received promotions.

Sgt. Alex Loy and Sgt. Rich Lourenco were elevated to the rank of lieutenant.

And Officers Joe Carr, Stan Titterington, Charlie Schimpf, Mike Halpin and Corey Karas were appointed as sergeants.

All of the new sergeants will fill vacancies in that rank, pending the issuance of a waiver by the state Division of Local Government Services which has final say on the town’s personnel moves as a condition of the town getting transitional aid.

One of the new lieutenants will fill a vacancy; the other is conditional on the state granting a waiver to exceed the maximum number for that rank.

Lourenco has been with the department since January 1995 while Loy was hired in September 1997.

Titterington has been on the force since January 1995, Schimpf came aboard in September 1997, Karas was appointed in September 2000, Carr in June 2001 and Halpin in July 2002.

The newly named lieutenants are commanders of two patrol squads.

Sgt. Titterington will be a patrol supervisor under Loy; Det./Sgt. Schimpf will be commander of the detective bureau; Sgt. Carr will supervise the traffic bureau under the direction of Lt. Dean McGee; and Sgts. Karas and Halpin will take charge of the newly-created Crime Suppression Units.

As provided under a newly signed labor contract between the PBA and the town, a sergeant’s base pay at first step of the salary guide is $108,856 a year and a lieutenant’s base pay, also at first step of the guide, is $124,730 annually.

In other business conducted at last week’s meeting, the mayor and Town Council:

• Introduced an ordinance, subject to public hearing and adoption, to execute a financial agreement with Hornrock BNE Harrison Urban Renewal LLC for the redevelopment of the old McClave Lumber site at 1 Harrison Ave. as “at least 257 residential units.” The agreement “is expected to generate at least $949,000 in annual service charges upon completion of the project” which Mayor James Fife expects to happen by “the end of 2018.”

• Introduced two companion ordinances in support of the redevelopment project to designate Dey St. two ways, between Jersey and Warren Sts., but to continue Dey, between Harrison Ave. and Jersey St., as two ways; and to permit Hornrock, for an annual $1,000 fee, to encroach seven feet, seven inches into the Dey St. public right-of-way to complete improvements so long as Hornrock accommodates the “free and safe flow of vehicular traffic and pedestrian use of the public right-of-way” by removing snow and ice, for example, and holding the town harmless from any liability after completion of the improvements.

• Voted to terminate the town’s participation in the state health benefits program and, instead, to contract with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide health insurance coverage “equal to or better than” the state plan’s coverage for the town’s union employees, effective May 1, 2017. Fife said the town figures to save between $250,000 and $350,000 by making the switch.

• Introduced an ordinance requiring “that every commercial water meter for service connections over 1 inch to be flow-tested every two years in order to ensure that [those meters] are accurately metering the actual water consumption.” Non-compliance can subject the commercial entity to water shut-off by the town.

• Contracted with Garden State Fireworks to “produce pyrotechnics/fireworks displays at the Red Bull Arena” on March 11, June 24, Aug. 25 and Oct. 15.

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.