BERNARDS TWP., NJ - With little fanfare, the Bernards Township Committee on Tuesday moved up Deputy Police Chief Michael Shimsky to the position of acting chief and officer in charge, putting him in line to succeed retiring Chief Brian Bobowicz.

Shimsky was not present at Tuesday's meeting, where his appointment was unanimously approved by the Township Committee. At the same meeting, the Township Committee honored the retiring chief for his 30-plus years with the township police force. 

After the governing body passed a resolution honoring Bobowicz, Mayor John Carpenter said he wanted to acknowledge the chief's long service in Bernards Township. Bobowicz, who began his career with the Bernards department in 1987, had been appointed as police chief in 2009.

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The Somerset County Prosecutor's Officer had urged that Shimsky be appointed as acting chief following Bobowicz's departure from his office as of Dec. 31, Township Administrator Bruce McArthur said following Tuesday's meeting. Shimsky is able to now fully participate in events involving the county's police chiefs, he said.

Shimsky's pay as deputy chief is an annual salary of $155,998, and his pay will remain the same as acting chief, McArthur said.

Shimsky also has been serving as the township's Emergency Management Coordinator. He had been in the position of lieutenant before he was promoted to deputy chief in 2017. 

Bobowicz has enough paid leave time to officially continue in the position of chief until his official retirement date of April 1, McArthur said prior to Tuesday's meeting.

With Bobowicz's retirement expected, Shimsky in January 2017 was promoted to Deputy Chief, which then was a newly created position within the 38-member township police department. 

Bobowicz officially filed his retirement papers last week with Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (NJPFRS), McArthur said. The chief's annual salary at the time of his retirement is $167,249, he said.