SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- With the retirement of Police Chief Brian Mahoney, who concludes his 30-year career with the Scotch Plains Police Department this month, Captain Ted Conley has been put in charge of SPPD operations.

Conley was promoted to the rank of captain in 2015 and has served as spokesman for the department. He has been employed by SPPD for more than 18 years and is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at Seton Hall University.

A previous council agenda had included discussion of creating a new police director position after Chief Mahoney's departure. The discussion was later removed from the meeting agenda. The director position was unlikely to have been filled by a current police department member, which would not have been popular among the ranks.

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Township Manager Al Mirabella did not divulge his long-term plan for the leadership of the Scotch Plains police department. A decision will not be made until after the department goes through an accreditation process.

"I have confidence in Captain Conley and am looking forward to working with him to better serve the residents of Scotch Plains," Mirabella said. "There is certainly some opportunity for improvements."

Mirabella said that he had asked Conley for strategy on how the department will be moving forward and hopes to put an emphasis on community policing and communicating better with store owners and township residents.

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