Officers still out, council considers appointments

Staff Writer

By takesha pettus

Officers still out, council
considers appointments

SOUTH RIVER — The Borough Council may have to make additional temporary police appointments as a result of the Dec. 21 shooting incident that temporarily put two local officers out of action.

The Borough Council is discussing introducing an ordinance to define the position of police captain and possibly lieutenant. The ordinances might be introduced at Monday’s meeting.

Various officers within the borough Police Department have been on acting positions for several months, including now acting Chief of Police Michael Trojanowski.

Prior to the Dec. 21 shooting on William Street, which left Chief of Police Wesley Bomba and Acting Lt. John Bouthillette wounded, Trojanowski, a lieutenant, served as an acting captain.

Trojanowski had yet to be officially appointed into the position, however.

Both Bouthillette and Bomba are home recovering from injuries sustained in a shooting that occurred on William Street at approximately 10:45 a.m. Dec. 21.

In the gun battle, the two officers and two civilian residents were wounded after 31-year-old Edward Abrams Jr., wielding a shotgun, allegedly began shooting on June and Williams streets.

Responding to 911 reports of gunshots, Bomba and Bouthillette were both struck by Abrams.

Abrams was later killed by officer Eric Gartner on Eastern Street, just off Vargas Park.

According to Council President David Sliker, with the two top ranking officers out, the borough began looking into the line of succession within the Police Department.

There is currently just one lieutenant on the force, and the position of captain is vacant with Trojanowski’s temporary appointment.

Sliker said the council will have to explore the line of succession for appointing members into acting positions.

Not since the 1930s has a police chief been shot in the borough.

Sliker said the borough ordinance never provided for dealing with this type of occurrence by using acting positions.

Most likely, Sliker said, the position of captain will remain vacant and a sergeant will be appointed into a lieutenant position.