Pennington police officer becomes department’s first detective

Council approves lease agreement for new police vehicle

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An officer becomes the first detective with the Pennington Police Department.

The Pennington Borough Council unanimously voted in favor of approving the appointment of Officer Daniel D’Ascoli as detective on Feb. 5. Before his appointment, he served as a patrolman for the police department in the borough.

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“I’d like to congratulate Dan D’Ascoli as I believe the first detective in the history of the Pennington Police Department,” Police Chief Doug Pinelli said. “His responsibilities are going to be as juvenile detective and head of Internal Affairs [to handle any] complaint(s) that comes in about an officer.”

D’Ascoli, who will not receive any additional pay with the new appointment, becomes the department’s juvenile liaison to the juvenile unit of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and to the schools in the borough.

He will head the Internal Affairs Unit at the police department in addition to his continued duties of being on patrol and answering calls during a patrol shift.

In other business, the council authorized the borough to enter into a four-year lease-purchase agreement for a 2023 Dodge Durango that would be for the police department.

The Durango, which will be outfitted with police equipment, has four annual payments of $17,655 totaling $70,622. After the four-year lease agreement, the borough would own the car.

“We are moving forward on this because we are spending a lot of money on maintaining the 8- and 9-year-old cars that we have on the road right now,” Council President Catherine Chandler said. “We lease a new car every two years, and the cars are replaced every eight years.”

She added that by doing lease replacements every two years, the borough smooths out the budget, so “there are not these ups and downs.”

“What would happen is we would save money one year by not doing it. Then all of a sudden you end up with a bunch of old cars,” Chandler explained.

The police department currently has six police vehicles, according to Pinelli.

“We have a silver car which is used to commute back and forth in road jobs, we have a marked 2014 sedan that is used as a deterrent if you will, and we have four patrol units,” he said.

Pinelli noted that the Durango is needed as the police department’s 2017 Explorer needs a transmission.

“We are limping that car along,” he said. “I can get the transmission done to the tune of between $6,000 to $8,000 and maybe that will get us down to the end of the year.

“It is just unfortunate that this specific car does have transmission problems. I feel like spending that type of money was not worth it.”

The Durango will replace the Explorer, which will be taken out of service, according to Pinelli.

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