TRENTON – The Clark Police Department is now under the control of the Union County Prosecutor's Office as they perform an investigation into "credible allegations of misconduct," according to a joint statement from Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.
The UCPO will assume control of all law enforcement and internal affairs functions of the Clark Police according to the official statement. UCPO Captain Harvey Barnwell has been named Officer-in-Charge.
Barnwell will be assisted by UCPO Lieutenant Cassie Kim, who will assume responsibility for the department’s internal affairs unit, and UCPO Sergeant Andrew Dellaquilla.
In a joint statement Gurbir and Ruotolo said: “The residents of Clark Township deserve police leaders that meet the highest standards of the profession. We will conduct a full inquiry into credible allegations of misconduct, and at the same time we will continue to work with our local partners to build greater trust between Clark’s law enforcement officers and the community they serve.”
According to the release, Grewal pledged full support to the investigation and to work with UCPO to restore trust with local residents.
Ruotolo is exercising her supersession authority which permits the Prosecutor, as the county’s chief law enforcement officer, to oversee the law enforcement responsibilities of local police departments within the county.
A complete report of the UCPO’s findings will be released to the public after the investigation is complete according to Ruotolo.
Any resident with information related to the investigation is asked to contact Lieutenant Brian O’Malley of the UCPO Professional Standards Unit at (908) 220-4323 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Detective Dennis Donovan of the UCPO Special Prosecutions Unit at (732) 232-2049 or email@example.com.
A call to Mayor Sal Bonaccorso was not returned by the time of publication.
Clark is the third town in which the Union County Prosecutor's Office has taken over the police department since June 1st. In mid-June, the Prosecutor's Office took Hillside's police department after feud between chief and the mayor in that town. Last week, the Prosecutor's Office took over the Fanwood police department following the retirement of the borough's three senior officers, leaving a void of experience at the top.
TAPinto Clark will provide more information as it become available.