Just before the Christmas holiday, Lavallette officials held their final borough council meeting of the year. Among the items discussed were the salary for the newly-minted police chief as well as an update on a successful holiday beach badge sales effort.
Police Chief Salary, Status
The council approved a contract with new Police Chief Christian LaCicero which will carry a salary of $135,000 per year. LaCicero will replace retired chief Colin Grant, who according to public records earned $141,984 in 2021, the last year for which salary data was available.
LaCicero, though formally appointed and sworn in as chief, is not yet running the department with autonomy. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is continuing to maintain operational supervision over the department pending an audit, confirmation that the agency is following directives promulgated by the state and county prosecutor, as well as the completion of an accreditation process. The prosecutor’s office requested the borough hold off on appointing a chief, however the governing body held that its own local ordinance requires a chief within the department at all times.
Presently, LaCicero reports to county Chief of Detectives Anthony U. Carrington, Jr., who is currently serving as officer-in-charge. Day-to-day management of the department was delegated by Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer to Joseph F. Mitchell, the retired county chief of detectives.
Beach Badge Boom
With a few days to go in 2022, sun-worshipers used the frigid weather to score a discount on beach badges for next season. Lavallette Councilman Michael Stogdill said that just before Christmas, the borough had sold $179,740 worth of beach badges. That figure was calculated up to Dec. 19.
Holiday sales of badges at a discount will continue through Dec. 30 and are only available for purchase in person at borough hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Last year, the total beach badge revenue generated during the holiday sale was about $189,000, Stogdill said, adding that last year’s figure may well be beaten by the end of the year.
“It bodes well for next season’s badge sales,” he said.