UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday
Photo Courtesy of The Jersey Journal
After just 15 months as Union City Police Chief, Brian Barrett has decided to call it a career.
Barrett, 54, was named Acting Chief of the department when former Chief Charles Everett resigned in disgrace in Oct. 2011. Barrett was officially sworn in as police chief in February of last year.
Everett had been caught no-showing security detail jobs at the Jose Marti Freshman Academy and resigned before any sanctions could be issued.
Friday evening, Barrett gave an in-depth phone interview with Hudson County TV explaining why he thought the time was now to call it quits.
“I stayed when the Mayor asked me to stay and help clean up the department (in wake of the Everett scandal), I planned to stay one year and it’s been 15 months,” Barrett said. “…I couldn’t turn my back on the department in a time of need, but now it’s time to go.”
Barrett offered further praise for Union City Mayor Brian Stack for the help he gave to the department.
“I give Stack a lot of credit for being patient and cooperative with me. He never asked me to do this or do that. Whatever I asked for in the department, the mayor did his best to help.”
The 32-year veteran of the Union City police force also clearly stated that his departure from the department was not because of any sort of falling out with the mayor.
The chief also spoke about a number of achievements he’s proud of including reorganizing police security details where “everyone gets a shot,” suspending officers who abused sick time, hiring 30 new police officers and obtaining 10 new police vehicles.
Out of the 30 officers hired, 10 where from the RICE bill, which hires officers laid off from other departments. The other 20 are Union City residents who are now all in the police academy.
Barrett has named Capt. Richard Molinari the acting chief and while the new chief will ultimately be appointed by Stack, Barrett offered a strong endorsement for the senior captain.
“(Molinari) knows the ins and the outs of the administrative operations of the department and was a big help for me while I served as chief. He’s also the head of internal affairs who could have retired by now, but he hasn’t. So to me, he’s the next in line.”
Barrett’s last day will be Monday, though due to the number of days he has saved, his retirement will not be effective until July 31. The life-long Union City resident indicated he doesn’t have any big plans for his retirement, other than relaxing.