In a sudden announcement on Thursday afternoon, it was learned that Lavallette Police Chief Colin Grant is retiring from his command of the police department in the Ocean County borough and indications are that there is nothing wrong, it’s just a matter of Chief Grant retiring following years of service.
As Chief Grant heads into retirement, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office will assume full command and control of the Lavallette Police Department, Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced on Thursday.
“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,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in a written statement. “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.”
This will be the second time in six-months that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed command and control of the Lavallette Police Department as Prosecutor Billhimer said his office did so with the Lavallette Police Department’s Internal Affairs functions on December 16, 2021, following an audit of the Department’s records.
“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,” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “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. 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.”
As for who will replace Chief Grant, that is an ongoing process.
The retirement of Chief Grant was something Lavallette Mayor Walter LaCicero told the Asbury Park Press that he knew was coming and that he had also met with four people from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday morning, but also wanted to reassure everyone there are no issues, nothing wrong at LPD.
Mayor LaCicero also told the APP that they will appoint a new Police Chief by November 1 and that civil service testing has already been done as part of that process.
There are two reported candidates to replace Chief Grant in Lavallette, according to the Asbury Park Press, in Lavallette Police Sergeant Christian LaCicero and Lavallette Police Sergeant Justin Lamb who is also a councilman in Toms River.
Sergeant Lamb received the top score on the police chief exam last winter, according to the Patch.