Trenton mayor names 4th top cop in 15 months

TRENTON, N.J. - October 12, 2011

The city is opening an international economic development office to attract visitors and business.

But what they find in Trenton, critics might describe as a mess.

The city has been through 8 business administrators since Mack took office 15 months ago and the mayor has just appointed his fourth acting police director.

In is Captain David Armitage, a 27-year veteran of the force. Out is Sgt. Chris Doyle, who held the director's job for just 6 weeks.

"It is mindboggling, that at this point in time that you would make this change. We need stability in our police department," Zack Chester of the Trenton City Council said.

After 105 cops were laid off last month, Doyle went to City Hall to discuss the mayor's plan to disband the vice and tactical squads in favor of foot patrols.

Mack had him escorted out of the building. It probably didn't help when Doyle asked the county prosecutor to intervene.

When asked, "Is this a payback in some way to replace him?"

Mayor Tony Mack replied, "You know, we don't discuss personnel matters so we're not at liberty to talk about those kinds of things."

The city is receiving over $20-million in aid from the state, but with strings attached. The state wants a three member committee to oversee Mayor Mack's hiring decisions.

The perception is that the mayor has made some disastrous appointments and the constant turnover of acting directors in various departments is damaging operations.

The mayor says not so and blames city council for not approving his hires.

"Middle management runs government. Middle managers are in place and doing their jobs," Mack said.

If the mayor refuses to work with the oversight committee, the city could lose $6 million in state aid.

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