SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains Township Manager Al Mirabella on Tuesday night postponed the Council's discussion of a possible creation of a director's position to lead the police department following the upcoming retirement of Chief Brian Mahoney in March.

Mirabella made the decision to pull it off the agenda in order to hold it during the Council's next conference meeting so that there could be a more robust discussion.

"Just the way that January meetings lined up, it felt rushed to have the discussion during the business meeting. We want to solicit feedback from the public and review some options on how best to proceed," Mirabella said in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF.

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Several members of the SPPD attended the Township Council meeting last night to listen when the governing body might propose for the department's future.

"We just want to be more informed, that was our reasons we wanted to be there," said Captain Ted Conley. "It should not be viewed as anything antagonistic."

Mirabella had anticipated that members of the force would attend the Council meeting.

"I understand their position that they don't want to lose the chief's position," explained Mirabella, whose father, Gene, served as the police chief in Elizabeth and was the top pistol shooter in U.S. for 18 consecutive years. "I am trying to recommend to the Council the option that I think would be in the best interest of the Township without sacrificing public safety. I anticipate the officers will share their thoughts, and I expect to continue good relationship with the police department."

The next Scotch Plains Council conference meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Municipal Building.