Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to Manage Lavalette Police Department Until New Chief Chosen

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LAVALLETTE, NJ – In the wake of the retirement of Lavallette Chief of Police Colin Grant, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed command of the department in partnership with an agreement with the local municipal government. This command will take place until the borough appoints a new Chief of Police and that chief has come up to speed with state standards.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that effective today, pursuant to his authority as Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Ocean County, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed full command and control of the Lavallette Police Department.

This means the county’s top appointed Democrat official is now in full control of a municipal police department.

“It is my understanding that Lavallette Police Chief Colin Grant will begin terminal leave effective May 29, 2022, and will officially retire by the end of this year.  The departure of Chief Grant prior to his retirement date leaves the Lavallette Police Department without the appropriate level of direction and supervision.  It is imperative that we maintain the continuity of the Lavallette Police Department and ensure that the residents of Lavallette remain safe. Ocean County Chief of Detectives Anthony U. Carrington, Jr., is hereby appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Lavallette Police Department, and the day-to-day obligations will be delegated to Joseph F. Mitchell, retired Chief of Ocean County Detectives, and other senior members of the Prosecutor’s Office, effective this date,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

On December 16, of last year, the agency had assumed control of the department’s internal affairs unit.

“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. 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.  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,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Borough officials have been reportedly deciding between Christian LaCicero, Mayor Walter LaCicero’s son, and Sgt. Justin Lamb, a Toms River resident who also serves on the Toms River Township Council.

Mayor LaCicero said he had been in talks with the prosecutor’s office for several weeks before the planned takeover and retirement saying there is nothing wrong going on within the department. LaCicero said the borough is expected to appoint a new chief by November 1st and that the prosecutor’s office is simply aiding the borough with the transition.