« They received preferential treatment under the leadership of Suffern and Halstead, » he said.
Mr. Halstead dismissed this claim as unfounded. He said all promotions were obtained based on experience and test results.
« President Suffern was trying to instill a sense of discipline within the department and that was being pushed hard against him, » said Mr. Halstead, who retired on December 1 after 27 years with the oath when he said they were personal reasons.
President Suffern declined to comment.
On a recent Saturday, about a dozen protesters demonstrated in Englewood, as they do most weeks, behind an SUV playing a mixture of gospel and song.GloryFrom « Salma » music.
Reverend Preston Thompson, chief pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Englewood, said the police had forgotten that their job was « to protect and serve. »
« The entire system is isolated to protect its own system, » said Mr. Thompson. We have to fight it. They will not do self-policing and so we people have to make sure that we come and protect ourselves. »
Mayor Wildes, a former federal prosecutor who participated in more than a dozen rallies at the Black Lives Matter rally in Englewood, said he believes every one of the 72 police officers is committed to serving the public.
He said, « There is not a single officer who cannot survive in the face of danger to save someone, or to help a resident. »
He added, « But for me, making sure the city’s leadership for this division is really improving is the mission of 2021. »
Lauren Hard contributed to the reporting.