This police union has suspended 8 members. Seven is black.

“They had preferential treatment among Suffern and Halstead,” he said.

Mr. Halstead dismissed the claim as null and void. He said all promotions were earned and based on experience and test results.

“Chief Suffern has tried to instill a sense of discipline in the department and it is being pushed back heavily,” he said. Halstead said. He retired from the department on December 1 after 27 years for personal reasons.

Chief Suffern declined to comment.

On a recent Saturday, about a dozen protesters marched through Englewood, like most weeks, behind an SUV playing a mix of gospel music and the song “Glory” from the Selma soundtrack.

Rev. Preston Thompson, the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Englewood, said police had forgotten that they were ‘protecting and serving’.

“The whole system is isolated to protect its own,” he said. Thompson said. “We have to fight it. They are not going to have self-policing, and therefore our people need to make sure we come and protect our own. ‘

Mayor Wildes, a former federal prosecutor who took part in more than a dozen Black Lives Matter marches in Englewood, said he believes each of the 72 police officers in the city, separately, are committed to serving the public.

“There is not a single officer who will not put themselves in danger of rescuing someone to help a resident,” he said.

“But for me,” he added, “it is the task for 2021 to make sure the city leadership improves this department.”

Lauren Hard reported.