ENGLISHTOWN – The position of police chief in the Englishtown Police Department has been re-established by the Borough Council and Lt. Peter Cooke has been sworn in as the department’s acting chief.
On April 25, council members amended the police ordinance and established the office of police chief. Englishtown has not had a police chief since John Niziolek retired in May 2010. After Niziolek retired, borough officials removed the position from the municipal codebook.
When the position was re-established, Cooke was sworn in as the acting chief of police. He had been serving as the officer in charge of the police department since July 2011.
Commenting on his promotion, Cooke said, “I am looking forward to continuing to serve the residents, business owners and visitors to the borough as the new acting chief of police.”
In the years since Niziolek’s retirement and the removal of the position of police chief from the department, the duties of police chief have been handled by Cooke, who is the highest ranking officer in the department.
Cooke has served Englishtown as a police officer for nearly 18 years. He previously worked as a campus police officer at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft.
Cooke joined the Englishtown force in September 2000 as a Class II special law enforcement officer. In January 2001, he was promoted to full-time patrolman. In July 2007, Cooke was promoted to sergeant. In July 2011, he was promoted to lieutenant and began serving as the officer in charge.
“The officers of the Englishtown Police Department wish to congratulate Acting Chief Cooke and wish him the best of luck,” the police department said in a statement.
Cooke will be responsible for the efficiency and day-to-day operations of the police department, according to the ordinance.
According to the ordinance, he will administer and enforce the rules and regulations and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the department and its officers and personnel; have, exercise and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the police department; prescribe the duties and assignments of all members and officers; delegate such authority, as may be deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the police department; maintain the good order and discipline of the department; and report at least monthly to the police commissioner, a position held by a member of the Borough Council, on the operation of the department during the preceding month and make such other reports as may be requested by the police commissioner.
The police department will consist of no more than one chief of police, two sergeants and seven patrol officers (10 total officers), according to the municipal code. The force currently consists of the acting chief, two acting sergeants, three patrolmen, one probationary officer and three special law enforcement officers.