NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – It was a bittersweet moment at the Borough Council meeting on Monday, March 9, as the council reluctantly approved the resignation of long-time Police Chief Anthony Buccelli. “The next resolution is difficult to read,” said Councilman Robert Munoz as he introduced the resolution. He will certainly be missed, he added.
Mayor Al Morgan had announced in February that Buccelli is planning to retire sometime this year. He is set to retire as of April 30, 2020 after 40 years in the New Providence Police Department.
Both Mayor Al Morgan and Council President Rob Robinson reflected upon their personal friendship with Buccelli.
Chief Buccelli was a friend of mine for 30 years. Like all leaders, he left the police department in better shape than it was when first took on its leadership role. The New Providence Police Department was a great place to be 14 years ago, but it is even better now, and largely because of the leadership of Buccelli, Robinson stated. Although Buccelli’s retirement “is not great news for the town,” Robinson expressed confidence for its future. “We have a great police department and we have great people behind it,” he said.
Morgan also noted that Buccelli is a personal friend. The two have known each other for many decades. “He is quite an incredible individual,” he said and touted Buccelli’s leadership qualities as the borough’s emergency management coordinator. It is “wonderful” to see Anthony in action, Morgan said. He noted that there have been many crises since hurricane Floyd in the borough. “Not once, not once did I ever see Anthony flustered.” He is always calm, always in control, Morgan said. “As a friend I wish him all the best in his retirement, as a mayor I wish he wasn’t going, but I know the department is in great, great hands,” he added.
Based on the borough ordinance the appointment of the next Chief of Police will be made among the upper rank personnel of the police department, Robinson said.
With regard to other news the council appointed Jesse Sobocinski and Robert Villalobos as probationary employees in the Public Works Department (DPW). They will be working at the wastewater treatment plant. Robinson explained that during the recession in 2007-2008 the borough made personnel cuts at the DPW. The two new employees will bring the staff to the pre-recession levels.