LONG BRANCH: For the first time in over 40 years, the city has a chief of police.
Jason Roebuck, who was serving as provisional police chief, was promoted to permanent status last week, according to a post on the Long Branch Police Department Facebook page.
"Roebuck has served as Acting Police Chief for the past several months pending results of the Chief's exam given by NJ Civil Service," the post states. "He was appointed Chief after the test results were certified and showed that his scored placed him at the top of the list."
Last year, the Long Branch Council adopted an ordinance by a 3-2 vote which creates the positions of police chief and two deputy police chiefs. The department was previously overseen by Roebuck when he served as public safety director and also oversaw the Long Branch Fire Department. Under the new arrangement, the the public safety director is held by Kevin Hayes, who also serves as the city's administrator.
The ordinance states that the director can also appoint a deputy municipal department head, but that position has not yet been manned and neither have the two deputy police chief positions.
Usually the position of public safety director is held by a civilian, but from 1991 until the middle of 2017, a member of the police department held the position, Mayor Adam Schneider told Word On The Shore last month. However, Schneider said the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office had been "examining the position for a number of different reasons, and recently told the city that the position should only be used if it is held by a civilian.