WESTFIELD, NJ — After an extensive search, the town has a new police chief, the mayor said.

Mayor Shelley Brindle announced the appointment of Christopher Battiloro to the position of chief on Wednesday. Battiloro has been serving as the department’s acting chief for the past four months, following the abrupt departure of former Chief David Wayman.

A graduate of Westfield High School, Battiloro said he has either lived in or worked in Westfield for his entire life.

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“As Chief, I fully intend to reach out to the community and its members and to build relationships of mutual respect and cooperation with them,” Battiloro told TAPinto.net. “I will work tirelessly to earn their respect and support.”

Battiloro joined the Westfield Police Department in 1997 as a patrol officer and in his 21 years of service has received two lifesaving awards and four command citation awards, Brindle said. He most recently served as the captain of police.

The mayor and council approved the appointment unanimously, the release said.

Under his leadership as acting chief, the department designated a municipal humane law enforcement officer to investigate reports of animal abuse, the department participated in a nine-month-long investigation leading to the arrest of four massage parlor managers on prostitution charges and the department arrested a teenager accused in a burglary spree on the north side of Westfield.

Battiloro is set to be sworn in at the council’s Jan. 3 reorganization meeting. Salary has not been discussed, he said. The council agreed to the appointment during a closed session meeting on Tuesday evening, the chief said.

Brindle offered praise for Battiloro.

“When we began this search, I indicated that I was looking for someone who reflects the values of my administration and our community, with unquestionable integrity and the ability to transform the culture of the department into one that embodies trust and accountability,” Brindle said in the release.

“Chief Battiloro brings all of these qualities to the job and is someone I know will dutifully represent our residents and the outstanding men and women in the department.”

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh