The decision of North Brunswick’s township committee to authorize a complete survey of its police department by an outside agency is' an excellent one.
The police situation in that community is at best an unusual one; the police chief and a high ranking police officer who are under separate criminal indictments are still on the job, five patrolmen who were suspended for writing a letter to the editor of this newspaper have only recently had their suspensions overturned, after a bitter court battle, and a patrolman who has been fighting his dismissal from the force for almost seven months has only this week been reinstated. If there is dissension and low morale in the department it is small wonder, but whether and how this affects the performance of the department’s duties can only be determined by an outside evaluatiori such as the one now planned.
While we applaud the township committee for seeking an outside study of the police department to point the way to a harmonious department equipped to deal with today’s problems, it is clear to us that the committee itself must bear a major share of the blame for the problems within the department. No evaluation could fail to single out as a major cause of internal dissension and lessened public confidence in the police department the township committee’s unbelievable decisions to keep in positions of leadership and authority men under indictment by state grand juries.
An outside study of the North Brunswick police department is obviously needed. But no good will come of it unless the township committee has the courage and the good sense to follow the recommendations of the study which will obviously include suspending both Chief Carmen Canastra and Capt. Roland Applegate until their pending court cases are settled.