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DV Pilot police & fire

Fair Lawn chief, captain get next-to no support from union vote

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT INSIDER: Several candidates already were being considered as the successor to Fair Lawn Police Chief Erik Rose when the local police union overwhelmingly approved a no-confidence vote against him and Capt. Joseph Cook last night.

Fair Lawn Police Chief Erik Rose

Rose may be given an opportunity to step down following last night’s decision, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

A no-confidence vote from a police union “can be personally and professionally damaging,” according to the International Association of Police Chiefs. “It is something that few anticipate or expect to survive.”

Statistics show that roughly half of the police chiefs who receive no-confidence votes from their locals are removed from office.

“The members of Fair Lawn PBA Local #67 take no pleasure in announcing that they have taken a vote of No Confidence in the leadership of the Fair Lawn Police Department under Chief Erik Rose and Captain Joseph Cook,” the PBA officially announced this afternoon.

A vote of the membership, including Rose and Cook, was taken last night. Fifty of the members approved and four opposed. One officer on disability was unable to vote.

“Never in the history of our department have the members found it necessary to take such a vote, but never have we found ourselves in a position such as we are now,” the union said in a statement.

Several lawsuits filed against the department prompted the move, the local said.

“No Confidence” votes carry no legal or administrative authority. The intent is to formally urge a legislative panel — in this case, the Fair Lawn Mayor & Council — to oust or demote the target.

Sources with direct knowledge of the situation told CLIFFVIEW PILOT last month that those discussions already were being held.

The idea of having a police director was raised — which in some instances spares a chief — but Fair Lawn has gone that route before and reverted back to having a chief.

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