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Lawrence Township names new police chief on a provisional basis

Lawrence Township Police Department patrol car

Police Lt. Christopher M. Longo has been appointed to become the police chief of the Lawrence Township Police Department on a provisional basis, according to Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski.

His appointment takes effect Sept. 2, which is the day after Police Chief Brian Caloiaro retires following a 28-year career with the police department.

Longo’s appointment is provisional because Lawrence Township is a state Civil Service municipality, Nerwinski said. Longo must take the state Civil Service exam for police chief. The test is open to interested police lieutenants within the department, he said.

The next Civil Service exam for police chief will be given in December, Nerwinski said. A list is established from the test that reveals the test score and that also lists the top three candidates who took it, he said.

Nerwinski said the Civil Service test for a position will provide the results and grades for the people who sit for the exam. Although scores are considered, they are not the determining factor, he said.

All of the other customary factors involved in hiring someone are also considered, such as experience, education, training, character and interview performance, he said.

“The ‘Rule of 3′ applies in the Civil Service guidelines. The top three scorers are the candidates upon which the appointing authority may choose from. It does not have to be the top test score,” Nerwinski said.

Lawrence Township is one of 212 towns and counties – out of 564 municipalities and 21 counties – that abide by Civil Service regulations in hiring. They require job applicants to take a Civil Service exam to be considered for employment and promotion.

Municipalities around Lawrence do not have Civil Service departments including Princeton, Hopewell Borough, Pennington Borough, Hopewell Township, East Windsor Township, Hightstown Borough, West Windsor Township, Rocky Hill Borough and Montgomery Township.

Longo began his career with the Lawrence Township Police Department in 1999. He has held a variety of departmental positions, Nerwinski said. He has served as a police detective, police sergeant, police lieutenant and commander of the department’s Investigative Division and the Detective Bureau.

Longo’s “exemplary work” in those roles demonstrates the depth of his qualifications and insight into the organizational complexities of law enforcement, Nerwinski said. Longo has his “full confidence, trust and support” as he takes on his new role within the department, he said.

“Chris’ training and experience in law enforcement, the respect of his officers and his deep roots in Lawrence Township provide a strong foundation for him to successfully guide the department through the transitional period with the retirement of Chief Caloiaro,” Nerwinski said.

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