Haddonfield Police Chief May Retire This Year
Borough officials say Chief John Banning could step down this year before the end of his three-year contract.
Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said Monday that police Chief John Banning may retire before the end of the year.
McCullough said Banning's contract is up next year, as well as the current police contract for the entire force of 21 officers. Typically, retirements are clustered before the end of current contracts because of the expectation a new contract will not include the same level of benefits, she said.
The announcement came at a regular commissioner's work session Monday evening and Banning was not immediately available for comment.
Banning, a nearly 30-year veteran of the department, received a contract in May 2011 that paid him $119,000 a year. McCullough said Det. Sgt. Mark Knoedler has already announced his retirement, as well.
The commissioners had a spirited discussion about whether they will hire replacements for Knoedler and Lt. Gary Pearce, who retired last year. Commissioner Ed Borden, the director of public safety who oversees the police department, asked commissioners Tish Colombi and Jeff Kasko on their intent to approve the hire of two replacement officers.
Colombi said she would be hesitant to hire two new police officers when the department she oversees has lost several employees in the past years that have not been replaced.
"We don't have enough people to do the job now," she said. "People get pissed off when we can't do jobs around town now."
Kasko didn't immediately express an opinion.
The commissioners explored the possibility of hiring two part-time workers for public works but did not reach an agreement on the hires. Borden said the police department had 26 officers when he became the public safety director eight years ago.