Richard Dugan Named Barnegat Police Chief
The Barnegat Township Committee appointed Richard Dugan as police chief last week, replacing Arthur Drexler, who reached a termination settlement with the township last month.
A 30-year veteran of the force, Dugan had been in charge of day-to-day police department operations since late July, when Drexler was initially suspended over a dispute involving compensatory time.
Dugan was named acting chief last November as the matter between Drexler and the township continued. According to the settlement agreement announced in February, the administrative complaint against Drexler will be expunged and his termination of employment will be a voluntary resignation and retirement in good standing.
“Chief Dugan has a lot of expertise and has the respect of his fellow officers,” said Township Committeeman John Novak. “Among his fellow officers, our acting chief is known as a cop’s cop. He’s done everything from directing traffic to making drug arrests.”
Novak added that Dugan’s former job as captain will not be filled.
“We have able sergeants and lieutenants who can handle the captain’s duties,” he said.
“This is going to be a smooth transition,” said Deputy Mayor Frank Caputo. “We’re in excellent hands with his leadership.”
“I must say that God has blessed my life with an unbelievable family and career,” said Dugan, 50. “I’m very excited about the promotion to permanent chief of police and really appreciate all the support that I have received from the fine men and women of this agency who are committed to serving and protecting this community every single day. I must also thank the mayor, township committee and, of course, Township Administrator Marty Lisella, too. I look forward to working with each of them as we continue providing the residents of Barnegat Township with quality police services.”
Dugan, who became captain in 2007, said he joined the police department at age 20.
“I moved to Barnegat with my family when I was 17,” he said. “My father had suggested that I become an officer because he thought it would be a good job. I took the police exam and did well. When I first moved here, I wasn’t sure how it would work out in a small town in Southern Ocean County. It was different from what I had been used to, but it looks like everything worked fine. I couldn’t think of a better community to be a part of.”
— Eric Englund