Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Takes Over Lavallette Police Dept.

LAVALLETTE, NJ — The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has taken control of the Lavallette Police Department, effective immediately, Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced Thursday.

The announcement comes ahead of the pending retirement of Police Chief Colin Grant, Billhimer said. Grant is set to officially retire at the end of 2022, but is taking leave beginning May 29 through the end of the year, Billhimer said.

“The departure of Chief Grant prior to his retirement date leaves the Lavallette Police Department without the appropriate level of direction and supervision,” Billhimer said. “It is imperative that we maintain the continuity of the Lavallette Police Department and ensure that the residents of Lavallette.” remain safe. “

Billhimer said Anthony U. Carrington Jr., chief of detectives in the prosecutor’s office, has been appointed Officer-in-Charge of the department. Joseph F. Mitchell, the retired chief of detectives, will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the department, along with “other senior members of the Prosecutor’s Office,” Billhimer said.

The prosecutor’s office Professional Standards Unit had taken over the Lavallette Police Department’s Internal Affairs as of Dec. 16, 2021, “after an audit of the department’s records,” Billhimer said. He did not give details of the audit or what prompted it.

“We support the men and women of the Lavallette Police Department and will turn our focus to ensuring public safety while preparing the department for the summer season,” Billhimer said.

Lavallette Borough is governed by NJ Civil Service Commission hiring rules, which determine promotions through scores on civil service exams.

For the Winter 2021 police chief exam, Lavallette Sgt. Justin Lamb received the top score on the exam, and as such was anticipated to succeed Grant as chief.

Lamb’s top score was highlighted by a testimonial attributed to him on the Examination Strategies for Preparing Officers and Superiors website. ESPOS is a test preparation company.

“Thank you to the professionals of ESPOS Test Prep. Ed, Nick, Mike, and Joe are masters of the senior-level exam. Do not be discouraged your first few weeks as they develop your skill set to perfection. Once you start hitting your Beyond working hard to keep you sharp, they are on top of managing expectations on test day and I found this extremely helpful. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would not trust anywhere else to train. “–Justin Lamb, # 1 Lavallette Police Chief (2021 Winter)”

Justin Lamb also is a Toms River township councilman, elected in November 2021 to represent Ward 1. His wife, Ashley Lamb, is a member of the Toms River Regional Board of Education and is a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for Ocean County Commissioner.

“In addition to providing an Officer-in-Charge in Chief Grant’s absence, we will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Department while instituting appropriate levels of employee management and supervision,” he said. “We will endeavor to work with the borough to develop.” a command staff, promulgate updated rules and regulations, and hire personnel to facilitate the Department’s accreditation. “

“Professional and personal accountability will be required of all department employees while the department is under the day-to-day control of Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office,” Billhimer said.

“I would like to thank Chief Grant for his service to the residents of Lavallette, and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement,” he said.

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