Mayor Wildes Comments on Englewood
When Chief David
Bowman was acquitted I supported him 100 percent and without equivocation.
I admire and respect the decades of service given to Englewood by him.
That is why I strongly backed his reinstatement as police chief last year.
Upon his eligibility for renewed service, had Chief Bowman chosen to fight
for a full and complete unlimited reinstatement, he knew I would have
stood by his side. However, he and his legal representation, made a more
limited agreement with the City of Englewood, and by extension the people
calls for him to retire in September of 2008. Before that agreement was
made a binding one, I asked the Chief if this was his true wish. He said
Just as it would have been unfair to Chief Bowman for the City of Englewood
to turn its back on him once his name had been legally cleared, so to
is it a violation of basic fairness for us to make an agreement with him
and then go back. Fair is fair. An agreement was made with Chief Bowman
with him having the benefit of full and complete legal representation
in the process. That agreement calls for him to retire in September and
for the position of police chief to remain vacant until January of 2009.
Changing this agreement has both budgetary and professional implications.
Clearly it impacts upon the treasury of the city as well as the planned
reorganization of the department and the careers of those involved.
What is important is that we act consistently. In that vein it should
be noted that one argument now made by supporters of Chief Bowman for
breaking the existing agreement and offering an extension of his contract
is the fact that an Englewood police officer had made a similar agreement
to retire and was permitted an extension and remains in place today.
The city manager and city council needs to address this kind of glaring
inconsistency if they expect to have credibility with the community in
enforcing the agreement made with Chief Bowman.
Chief Bowman has served our city very well. His retirement in September,
or in the near future, has always been a sad reality for which we must
The citizens of our City are fortunate to have someone of the caliber
of Deputy Chief O'Keefe. Englewood must fill the gap left by the chief
not only as the head of our fine department, but also as a bridge between
the people of our diverse city. While I have full confidence in Deputy
Chief O'Keefe to do the former, it is my strongest desire that the incoming
chief will chose his deputy in recognition of that other void left by
Chief Bowman's retirement.
Mayor, City of Englewood, NJ
for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes For Mayor, Assemblyman Arnold Brown,
Allison Court, Englewood, NJ 07631