Dollinger is Chief of Police in St Pauls North Carolina

St Pauls, NC Police Chief Steve Dollinger. Photo via The Robesonian

Former Middletown Deputy Police Chief Steve Dollinger became the Chief of Police of St. Pauls, North Carolina on January 1, according to a report in The Robesonian.

St. Pauls, population 2,351, is a town in Robeson County, about 70 miles southwest of Raleigh.  The police department has 13 officers and five dispatchers.

Dollinger, 48, retired from the Middletown Police Department last March.

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Posted: January 2nd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Dollinger is Chief of Police in St Pauls North Carolina

Accused Child Sex Trafficker, An Ex Middletown Cop, Released To His Mother’s Custody

James Keenan and his mother, Katherine Fowlie, December 2015. social media photo

James J. Keenan, 47, the retired Middletown Police Officer arrested on federal child sex trafficking charges last week, was released to the custody of his mother, Katherine Fowlie, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovani on Monday afternoon during a bond hearing in Trenton Federal Court.

Fowlie is the widow of former Middletown Police Chief William Fowlie, Keenan’s step-father.

Keenan and Fowlie co-signed a $50,000 unsecured bond as a condition of the release.  Additionally, Keenan is subject to 24 hour per day home confinement with electronic monitoring, is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with minor children, must refrain from using alcohol or drugs, be tested for substance abuse, and must restrict his travel–as approved by pre-trail services– to the State of New Jersey and the District of Oregon for Court Purposes. His computer usage is restricted and he surrendered his passport. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 16th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Former Middletown Police Chief Joseph M. McCarthy Passes At Age 92

Former Middletown Police Chief Joseph M. McCarthy, 92, passed away on Monday.  McCarthy led the Middletown PD from 1960 until his retirement in 1990.

Township Clerk Heidi Brunt posted the following tribute to McCarthy on facebook: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Shared Patrol Model: The sweet spot for reducing property taxes and saving police officers jobs

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declanThe concept of municipal consolidation/shared services is referred to by some as the panacea for high property taxes.  Others claim that consolidation/shared services is a pipe dream and not worth pursuing because no single service will solve our property tax problem.  Both sides of this argument are wrong.  No one act or reform will slash our taxes – short of major increases in other taxes.  To argue that we shouldn’t pursue such reforms because they won’t save “enough” is to argue against doing anything to cut costs.  On the contrary, the answer is we must do EVERYTHING.

Merging of municipalities is a heavy lift. People have nostalgic attachments to their town names and pride in their community identity. And if things don’t go as well as planned, there’s no going back.  That leaves shared services  as the sweet spot – much easier to attain than wholesale municipal mergers and can generate 60 to 80% of the savings.

We must then hone in on the areas where we can get the greatest amount of savings.  Things like public works and administration sound like good targets but those areas have already, frequently, been cut to the bone.  One area in many municipalities that is ripe for restructuring: police.

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Posted: December 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Middletown Named 5th Safest Town To Raise Children

Middletown Township has been named the safest town in New Jersey and the 5th safest in the nation to raise a child, according to Safewise, a security and safety website, in their recent The 30 Safest Cities to Raise a Child-2016 report.

Safewise 2016

“Our ranking as one of the top five places in the United States to raise a child once again affirms our assertion that Middletown is a great place to live,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger. “The accolade is concrete evidence that the township’s police department and its school district continue to be among the absolute best in the nation.”

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Posted: July 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Middletown Police Chief Gets $249K “Boat Check”

Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch

Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches. Photo courtesy of Middletown Patch

Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches is getting $249,338 for unused sick and vacation time accumulated over his 40 year career upon his retirement at the end of this month.  The payout is at Oches current pay scale, despite the fact that the time accumulated over a 40 year period.

The Township Committee approved the payment, reluctantly because it is required by State Law, at Monday night’s meeting.

Committeeman Tony Fiore said that most Oches’ unused time was accumulated prior to 1996 when the Township Committee passed a 150 day cap on retirement awards.

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Posted: July 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Middletown Files Layoff Plan

Mayor Fiore Hopeful That Some Police Jobs Can Be Save Through Union Concessions And Tapping The Library’s $1.2 Million Surplus

MIDDLETOWN – The Township Committee has directed the Township Administrator to file a layoff plan with the State Civil Service Commission to address significant and continuing declines in municipal revenue and to conform with the 2% cap levy law.

“Recent budget analysis prepared by the Township’s Chief Financial Officer have made it readily apparent that the Township is left with no option but to immediately begin the process of initiating another round of significant layoffs,” said Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.  “We are hopeful that some police jobs can be saved through reasonable concessions by the Township’s collective bargaining units and with assistance from the Middletown Library’s $1.2 million surplus.”

“Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, the Committee’s representative on the Middletown Library’s independent board, has specifically requested that it authorize payment of $898,000 of the Library’s $1.2 million surplus that will have no impact on the Library’s operations so that additional police layoffs can be averted,” continued Fiore.  “Nobody can be immune from cuts in this current economic climate, but we must first focus on essential core government services such as providing police protection and maintaining municipal roadways.”


Budget & Layoff Facts

 The layoff plan was filed with the State Civil Service Commission on Friday, February 11, 2011 with notice to the affected employees and unions, proposing the elimination of 26 total positions, as follows:

 Department of Parks & Recreation (13 positions), which eliminates every position but for the Director essentially eliminating the Department.  Most of these positions cannot be saved absent an extraordinary change in projected municipal revenues and major concessions.

  • Police Department (10 positions) with demotions proposed too. The $898,000 requested from the Library’s $1.2 million surplus to avert further police layoffs represents the amount of the municipal budget that pays the debt service for the library renovation project, $565,000, plus the amount of contribution mandated by statute that will decrease due to changes in the Townships overall valuation resulting from the reassessment totaling $333,000 in 2012.

§ Building Office (1 position).


§ Department of Finance (1 position).

§ The Municipal Court (1 position).

 The projected effective date of the Layoff Plan is Friday, April 29, 2011.

  • Despite more than $3 million of reductions in budget appropriations, revenues have decreased approximately $7.4 million, leaving an estimated budget shortfall of $4.4 million.
  • The largest source of revenue loss continues to be from tax appeals that represent a total of approximately $4.9 million, which is one of the principal reasons why the Township is currently completing a Township-wide reassessment.
  • The Township eliminated 40 positions last year through layoffs, retirements and resignations.
Posted: February 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments »