Acting as the chief law enforcement officer in Union County, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow ordered today that his office assume complete authority over the Springfield Police Department. The Springfield Township Administration concurred with the Prosecutor's actions.

The assumption of authority comes after the Springfield Committee declined, during a meeting on Tuesday evening, to designate Captain Peter Davis as Acting Chief. After the meeting, Captain Davis chose to resign from the force, leaving it without any command structure.

Prosecutor Romankow sent a letter to Springfield's township administrator, mayor and committee members this afternoon notifying them that the office would immediately be assuming responsibility over the department until such time as he determines the designation is no longer necessary.

In the interim, Prosecutor Romankow has appointed Captain Carl Riley of the Union County Prosecutor's Office as Acting Officer In Charge of the Springfield Police Department. Captain Riley is a 20-year law enforcement veteran, having served with the Shrewsbury Police Department in Monmouth County and as a Detective in the Essex County Prosecutors Office narcotics unit. A graduate of the 230th Session FBI National Academy and Penn State Police Executive Management Program, Captain Riley also completed the Southern Police Institute Management of Small Law Enforcement Agency course as well as numerous other related law enforcement-training topics. Captain Riley has served as commander of the Union County Homicide Task Force since its inception in September 2008.

"Our priority is always the safety of the people we serve," said Prosecutor Romankow. "This will ensure the cohesiveness and stability in the police department to ensure public safety and we look forward to working with the township as they begin the search for new leadership in the department."

Prosecutor Romankow said he appreciates the dedicated and professional work routinely exhibited by all members of the Springfield Police Department - both sworn and civil- and looks forward to ensuring that this transitional period goes as smoothly as possible.