April 24, 2013

Still Concerned and Confused by Prejudging Of Chief Dudeck, a Top-Of-The-Line Officer

To the Editor:

After attending the special council meeting that was to decide the fate of Police Chief David Dudeck, I came away more concerned, more confused. I do not understand how accusations such as were given to the public and residents could bring the perception to prejudge a man without a real trial. You would think an investigation would do, and Chief Dudeck would deserve that much. It’s obvious that the Chief’s accusations were born out of department infighting and disgruntled former officers. It is a well known fact, that the two former police departments did not like each other. And nothing has changed to this very day. Consolidation might be good for Princeton as a whole. But the two police departments are a story yet to be told.

Many people saw this dysfunction within the departments coming. Those that did not see it were the former Borough Council and Township Committee. At the meeting, I heard nothing except praise for Chief Dudeck, and higher praise from Council. Yet, Council chose to accept his retirement. I’ve seen bad officers in my life in the Princetons, but Dave Dudeck was not one. Chief Campbell. Chief Porter, Robert “Big Mac” Avenia, or, Harry Carney, Howard Sweeny, Anthony Pinnelli, Walter Eman — these were top-of-the-line officers and top-of–the-line men. Chief Dudeck is such a man as well. And I hope that his family realizes accusations such as the ones presented to them are just that, accusations. And in fact, they should be proud, and hold their heads up high.

Princeton has changed for the better in many ways. However, the present situation within the police union and department needs to be addressed. Appointing a new chief from within in today’s department is a bad idea. There is no way the residents of Princeton will see this other than promoting from within. This total situation is currently shameful and sad. Good luck Chief Dudeck.

Jerome McGowan

Redding Circle