The Cape May County prosecutor said yesterday that investigators from his office would begin monitoring the Sea Isle City Police Department following several incidents there, including the suspension of its chief.
In November, Police Chief William Kennedy was suspended pending an administration hearing into whether he had a relationship with a dispatcher under his command.
Those allegations came to light after the chief's wife filed a restraining order against him and said she found text messages and a graphic photo from a woman on his cell phone.
Kennedy's wife also called 911 after an argument with him. The prosecutor's office investigated, but no charges were filed against the chief.
Also this year, a department sergeant was charged with planting evidence and an officer was accused of supplying his urine to a municipal employee who needed to pass a drug test.
Capt. Michael Cook has been serving as acting chief of the department, which has about two dozen officers and dispatchers covering a popular Shore destination town.
County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor said the monitors were necessary to "restore public confidence in the department."
He said the monitors would not supersede the day-to-day authority of Cook or interfere with the chain of command.
"The acting chief was kind of thrown into the breach," he said. "We're trying to assist in this changeover period."
Two prosecutors' investigators - Lt. Eugene Taylor and Detective Mark Weeks, who recently retired as a major in the state police - will be in charge of monitoring the department and reviewing its policies.
Robert Taylor said he did not know how long the men would be overseeing the department.
Taylor and Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio met with the Police Department Monday evening at shift change to explain the moves.
"It seemed to be taken in a positive light," Taylor said. "This is not meant to be a negative reflection on the acting chief or the rank and file."