Most of you have undoubtedly read newspaper articles about charges being filed against Lawrence Township Police Officer Andres Mejia. The charges filed resulted from an extensive investigation under the direction of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. It is my understanding that the investigation into actions by this police officer’s handling of a domestic dispute was prompted by facts revealed in an investigation by detectives in the Prosecutor’s Office into a murder occurring in Trenton in late August.

Since I have taken the initiative to create a better line of communication between the municipal government and the residents of Lawrence Township, remaining completely silent about this matter is simply not an option if I am to have any credibility with you.

Of course, I cannot comment about the facts of the investigation leading to the charges against this officer, nor can I comment (more than I already have) about the ongoing civil action brought against the police chief and the township by a small group of police officers in the PBA at a time when their union contract was being negotiated.

However, I can and I will continue to defend the integrity and honesty of Police Chief Brian Caloiaro and the many police officers who come to work each day honoring their oath and serving their community. I also want to reassure the community that there is no truth whatsoever to the claims of corruption and retaliation being made against myself and the police chief. None. I hate having to issue a response to these claims, but I feel like you deserve to hear from me and so do my family members and friends.

For members of the community that may question the integrity and actions of the police chief and me because of comments by an attorney being paid to represent his clients, I simply ask that you think for yourselves and reserve your judgment until these matters conclude, until all of the facts and evidence are made public for you to scrutinize.

Please be mindful of an inconvenient fact that does not bode well for their attorney’s claims: the criminal matter against this officer and the other officers were investigated under the direction of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The charges filed against this police officer and the others were filed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, not the Lawrence Township Police Department.

I understand conspiracy theories are all the rage right now for all things political and otherwise, but I implore everyone to think this through and don’t lose faith in the leadership of our police department or the township by unsupported claims. By now, you must know that I write probably more than I should, and I could offer much more to you about these matters within our police department, but you and I will have to settle for what has been written and for the facts to come out in due time.

Kevin Nerwinski, a longtime resident of Lawrence, serves as Lawrence Township’s municipal manager.