The 1980’s: Growth and Expansion
In January of 1980, Ptl. Joseph Boguszewicz was assigned to the Detective Bureau and Stephen Pohling was assigned to the Juvenile Bureau as full-time Detectives.
The issue of officer safety is again visited publicly as BASF, a local styropor plant donates 10 bullet-proof vests for officers on February 27, 1980.
A massive recruitment campaign begins in February to fill six patrol slots.
In the early part of 1980, the Dodge St. Regis replaced The Oldsmobile Delta 88.
On February 5, 1980, Mayor Ted Cherry said the township “will pursue an aggressive affirmative action program in recruiting people for the police positions… I have directed that an exhaustive effort be made to hire minorities as part of the expansion, THIS WILL BE DONE.” Previously, minorities have failed to take the test or have failed in the process. The last exam was in 1978, 4 women applied but did not take the test, 7 blacks applied, 3 took the test and failed. For the test in 1980, 71 male minority members and 23 women have applied. As of this time, the department consists of the Chief, a Lieutenant, six Sergeants, two Detectives and 22 Patrolmen. The position of patrolman carried with it a starting salary of $13,500.00, 13 paid holidays, 12 vacation days a year, 15 annual sick days, overtime opportunities, disability and death benefits, clothing and cleaning uniform allowances, a free annual physical examination, a college incentive program and full medical, dental and optical coverage.
On April 19, 1980, of the 440 who applied to take the test, 244 took the test at the South Brunswick High School Of the 244, 130 passed 116 applicants then took the physical agility portion and 95 of them passed. The township committee recommended a re-test of the physical agility portion to assure fairness. It was done.
On May 28, 1980 South Brunswick Asphalt and the Police Department strike an agreement for the location of the Police Department range for $1.00 a year for 10 years.
On June 12, 1980 the police now have 102 candidates. 5 black males passed test, no women. The township committee was concerned with the results and on July 3, 1980 re-opened testing for minority candidates. A recruitment flier read “The township police department has previously conducted a recruitment campaign to fill six new authorized positions. In accordance with the township’s affirmative action policy, it has found it necessary to supplement the existing list of candidates by conducting a special ‘minority recruitment’ campaign. Only new minorities may test”.
Shock descended upon the department when Ptl. Robert D. Larsen died at home at the age of 25, on August 04, 1980.
As a result of the testing and re-testing, on August 21, 1980 Hugh E. McNeil, Raymond Rivera, Ronald W. Schmalz, Harry Javier Delgado, Andrew C. Hubbard, Gary Luck and Frederick A. Thompson III were hired.
On August 29, 1980 James Avery, Gary Menghi, and Omar Montague were sworn in bringing the force to 43, with 5 minorities.
On the same day, township attorney Edward Picone drafted a new police administration ordinance. The main points were; 1. A Detective Bureau and Juvenile Bureau will be officially created. 2. Two Detective Sergeant positions will be created. 3. No officer now in the investigative section will leave the section unless he is discharged, promoted or requests a transfer. 4. When there is a vacancy in the department, a promotional test will be given and the top three testers considered. The Chief recommends one of the three but the township committee has the final power to pick any of the three. 5. A Captain’s position is created and to add a Lieutenant. Sergeants will be eligible to test for Captain and Lieutenant. This was presented to the township committee and on September 4, 1980 approved it but eliminated the position of Detective Sergeant.
On December 18, 1980 Lt. College becomes Captain, Detective Joseph Duca, Patrolmen Michael Duca, Anthony Santowasso and George Olynyk become Sergeants.
On December 25, 1980 Detective Edward Slisky creates the South Brunswick Police Death or Retirement Fund. The fund increases money to officers and their families at retirement or in case of death.
Sergeants’ John Niper and Charles Larsen were appointed to Lieutenants on January 1, 1981. The department now has one Chief, one Captain, two Lieutenants, eight Sergeants, three Detectives and 28 patrolmen. Two patrolmen will fill detective slots, one in juvenile, and one in the detective bureau.
In 1981, the Dodge Diplomat replaced the Dodge St. Regis. The Department of Public Works had to manufacture prisoner cages from scratch due to the Diplomats smaller size. The Diplomats ran through 1983.
On January 8, 1981 the re-organization of the department is complete. “For many years, we realized the town was growing. We weren’t set up to face the growth, at least administratively. Now we’re ready,” said an unnamed source.
February 2, 1981 was the day Sonia Krupa was hired as a dispatcher.
Thomas Glapion was sworn in as officer on February 26, 1981.
A Canine patrol was discussed on June 30, 1981.
On September 30, 1981 construction begins on the departmental range on Fresh Ponds Rd.
The department increases and updates its fleet of 12 patrol cars with the purchase of 5 new Dodge Diplomats on November 11, 1981.
On May 20, 1982 the department starts sending officers to various police-related schools, as they become available to them. Seniority and assignment select officers.
On June 14, 1982 Jeffrey Karpiscak was hired as a civilian dispatcher.
Deborah Guerriero was hired as a civilian dispatcher on November 01, 1982.
On December 15, 1982 the Traffic Sergeant requested and received a 5% increase in his salary to keep equal with the salaries of the Detective Bureau and Juvenile Bureau Sergeants.
As the department moved into 1983 it was looking towards the future. The Chief requested an additional four officers. The request was to “plan ahead and not be caught short” said Captain Frank College He was denied.
Owned and operated by PBA Local #166, South Brunswick’s public pistol, rifle and trap shooting range opened on March 15, 1983. It is well received. “Anyone who’s into shooting sees this facility as impressive,” said Ptl. John Prince.
On June 9, 1983 the South Brunswick Board of Education and Police Department conducted a child-fingerprinting weekend.
As range memberships and activities were booming, on July 7, 1983, the township committee requires that the Range file a variance for public use as it thought the range was to be used for police training and qualifications only. “Complaints” from area residents grew and the township closed the range. It was re-opened on September 29, 1983 due to an automatic stay attached to an appeal filed by the range.
August of 1983 kicked off the 1st annual National Night Out, a drug and crime awareness effort involving the police and the community.
In September of 1983 the chief discusses the rank of Corporal, creating 5 new positions. The PBA opposes the creation of the new rank because it would eliminate the acting Sergeant position that is at a higher rate of pay for the officers. Nevertheless, the Chief appointed 5 officers to the rank of Corporal; Paquette, Volpicella, Hutchison, Cresci and Al Duca.
On November 9, 1983 Middlesex County Prosecutor Alan Rockoff authorizes the use of “warning shots” on a 30-day trial period. The New Jersey State Police and 20 other counties have forbidden the” warning shot”.
The Dodge Diplomats were phased out in 1984 and were replaced by the Ford LTD.
On February 9, 1984 the Police Department has installed a new computer system that makes records keeping more efficient, CPLIMS. Prior to this, assignment cards were punched using a punch clock. Calls and items requiring documentation were entered in a logbook. “It seems to be working as planned,” said dispatcher Jeff Karpiscak.
Mark Montagna and Jeff Karpiscak are sworn in as officers on February 23, 1984 bringing the police force to 43.
On April 16, 1984 Patrick J. Owens was hired as a civilian dispatcher.
July 15, 1984 was the date Michael Kushwarra was sworn in as a police officer.
On June 21, 1984 the PBA passes the gun range title to the township. The range will be used for police qualifications and training only.
Lloyd W. Oertel Jr. is sworn in as officer on August 1, 1984. The force is still at 43 due to the resignation of Ptl. Gary Menghi for personal reasons.
On October 4, 1984, Ptl. Thomas Glapion organizes the South Brunswick Police Department’s new crime fighting effort, “Neighborhood Watch”. Glapion had run a crime prevention program at Ft. Dix for 3 years when he served in the Army.
On November 8, 1984 The Seltzer Corporation, developers of the new Princeton Corporate Center, donated a check to the PBA to cover the costs of providing bullet- proof vests to the 35 members of the 43 man department who did not have vests. “…A live saving gesture by the Seltzer Organization.” said Glapion, PBA President.
The Ford LTD continues its run through 1985.
On January 1, 1985, Dr. John Tambascia passed away at the age of 52. He was the police physician, “A real fine human being.”
A comprehensive study of the department’s organization, management and control based on community and local crime trends as well as the evaluation of police service resources was conducted by an outside agency on February 7, 1985. Township officials reviewed it. The study calls for the hiring of six new officers.
On June 1, 1985 Tracie Beauregard was hired as a civilian dispatcher.
On July 7, 1985, five new officers are sworn in bringing the total to 48, Scott A. Bevensee, Michael J. Marosy, Patrick O’Brien, Patrick J. Owens and Gregory Rule.
On March 10, 1985, an ordinance recommended by Chief Simmons is introduced to the township committee that will attempt to protect employees of late night businesses in town It calls for businesses to close between 11:00pm and 5:00am unless there are two employees working together where the public has access. It eventually passed.
July 22, 1985 was the day David Breccia was hired as a dispatcher.
A triple homicide occurred in the Kingston section of town on the morning of October 7, 1985. The crime was solved quickly due to Ptl. Hubbard’s observation of a vehicle parked near the crime scene during the early morning hours. The license plate was traced to its owner who loaned it to the actor. Felix Diaz, 27 of Brooklyn, NY was convicted on June 22, 1989 of the crime and gets a life sentence.
Patricia Reddan was hired as a civilian dispatcher on November 15, 1985.
At the end of 1985, officer's salaries began at $18,000.00 with the top patrolmen earning $24,944.00.
1986 introduced the Chevrolet Caprice to the fleet and the LTD was phased out. The Caprice lasted until 1997.
June 23, 1986 was the date Patricia DeYoung was hired as a civilian dispatcher for the department.
Kenneth Southwick was sworn in as a police officer on August 12, 1986 and resigned shortly thereafter.
On October 2, 1986, South Brunswick Township proposes and implements a towing ordinance to assist police in the removing of disabled and impounded vehicles, and to insure motorists are charged reasonable fees when their vehicles are removed.
In January of 1987, Officers from the rank of Corporal and above begin in earnest to explore the separation from PBA Local 166. They express a need for a more powerful voice in issues and collective bargaining power.
Kris Olsen was sworn in as a police officer on January 12, 1987 and resigned during the police academy.
On February 2, 1987, 17 Officers sign a petition to break all ties with PBA Local 166. The officers listed on the petition are: Cpl. A. Cresci, Capt. F. College, Cpl. A. Duca, Sgt. J. Duca, Sgt. M. Duca, Sgt. J. Giorno, Cpl. R. Hutchison, Lt. C.R. Larsen, Lt. J. Niper, Sgt. G. Olynyk, Cpl. M. Paquette, Sgt. J. Petrik, Sgt. A. Santowasso, Chief F. Simmons, Sgt. B. Spilatore, Sgt. D. Trent and Cpl. F. Volpicella. The petition is forwarded to The Director of Representation in Trenton on February 27, 1987.
During this time departmental personnel increased 38 percent from 34 to 47 between 1978 and 1986. The numbers of calls or assignments have increased 76 percent. “We’re making do,” said Captain College on March 2, 1987.
In March of 1987 Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 51 received its charter.
On May 14, 1987, three new Sergeants are sworn in, Frederick A. Thompson, Michael D. Paquette and Charles Fahrenholz.
On May 19, 1987 the department hired three civilian dispatchers, Paula Kuhne, Thomasine McAllister and Barbara Mella.
Janet Petrone was hired as a civilian dispatcher on August 1, 1987.
On August 17, 1987, Ptl. Ronald Schmalz is sworn in as Sergeant and assigned to the Traffic Bureau.
The department expanded on August 24, 1987 with the swearing in of Richard Adams, Joseph Charmello, Martin Conte, Edward George, James Stoddard, John McNamara and William Grischuk.
On September 31, 1987, Police personnel were invited to the township committee meeting to witness a demonstration of a $95,000.00 mobile vehicular tracking system. The system would monitor the location of all patrol units from headquarters. Township officials think that it’s a good idea. “We’re hoping to talk them out of this,” said Sergeant Paquette. The police were successful and the township postponed the purchase, later never purchasing it.
Chief Simmons retired on October 1, 1987 after 26 years of service on the department, 12 years as Chief. Captain College took over as acting Chief.
November 05, 1987 was the day Michael D’Angelo was hired as a dispatcher as well as Brian Hine.
James O’Connell was hired as a civilian dispatcher on November 9, 1987 and Theresa Meyer on December 1, 1987.
December 24, 1987 Ptl. Mark Hiestand travels through town in a marked police car wearing a Santa outfit. He was running radar in the residential zones with a new radar display board showing residents their speed and waving to motorists but issuing no summonses.
For the start of 1988 acting Police Chief College was granted approval for 4 new officers on January 14, 1988, the move is to prepare for vacancies expected and also to implement a "power-shift" and a task force to concentrate on specific needs. Top pay is now at $22,204.00. PBA Local 166 donates a 19" color television set and stand to the Valarie Fund Children's Center for cancer and blood disorders in New Brunswick.
On February 25, 1988, 5 new officers are sworn in bringing the total to 52. Mark F. Domino, Jeffrey Flanders, Kevin J. Hughes, John Klemas and Robert E. Weiler. Also, the township's 9 schools become drug-free school zones; accordingly, 90 signs designating the zones were erected. The Police Department establishes a Narcotics / Drug enforcement unit to investigate the dealing of drugs in the township. Officer Harry Delgado has been assigned to the unit, all of this on the heels of the 1987 Comprehensive Drug Reform Act.
Al Duca and Angelo Cresci were sworn in as Sergeants on March 17, 1988. There are now three Duca's as Sergeants.
On June 9, 1988 acting Chief Frank College is sworn in as the departments third Chief of Police.
The Traffic Bureau acquires two new Ford Broncos. The vehicles are 4-wheel drive to assist in snow and terrain.
A dramatic decrease in burglaries in South Brunswick caught the attention of state officials who ranked the township’s Crime Prevention Bureau number 1 in central New Jersey on June 9, 1988. While there were 191 burglaries in 1986, only 91 were recorded in 1987. The New Jersey Crime Prevention Agency called the bureaus efforts, “the most outstanding crime prevention program in the region.”
June 14, 1988 was a sad day for the Police Department when retired Patrolman Robert F. Herrman died at the age of 69. “He had an innate ability to deal with people under stress. He was very calming on them,” said Chief College.
In June of 1988, Mobile Data Terminals, (in-car computers) are installed in the fleet (the Digicom -870). Every patrol car now has the ability to check license plates, licenses, people and converse with other officers without using the police radio.
Moving day for the expanding department came on July 29, 1988 when they moved into their new 11.3 million-dollar headquarters under what Chief College called “controlled chaos.” The building is attached to the municipal building, and once again everyone worked under the same roof.
September 1. 1988 was the day Ptl. John Prince began a project to sequentially number each building in South Brunswick. "This town is a nightmare when it comes to finding something,” he said. This project may take 3 years to complete.
January 1, 1989 was the day Sgts. Ronald Schmalz and Anthony Santowasso were promoted to Lieutenant. Also on this day Sgts. Michael Paquette and Frederick Thompson were promoted to Captain. Also on this day, officers Scott Hoover, Gary Luck, Mark Montagna, Michael Marosy and Cpl. Richard Hutchison were promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On January 4, 1989 Julie Weiler came aboard as a civilian dispatcher.
On February 3, 1989 Patrolmen Jeffrey Karpiscak and K-9 Terry and Lloyd Oertel and K-9 Donnie graduated from the Atlantic City K-9 Training Center after completing the intense 16-week basic patrol training course with their K-9 partners. The teams immediately hit the streets to combat crime and help the community.
Angelo Zecca was sworn in as an officer on February 7, 1989.
On February 21, 1989, Donald Varga was sworn in as a police officer, coming from Milltown, NJ police.
On February 27, 1989, retired and former part-time officer, Desiderio “Desi” Carreras passed away in Tampa, Florida at the age of 68.
March 6, 1989 was the day Donna Gaboury was hired as a civilian dispatcher.
On April 1, 1989 Janet Zimmermann was hired as a civilian dispatcher.
1988’s burglary statistics came out in May of 1989 and in showed that South Brunswick enjoyed another significant decrease in burglaries. Burglaries dropped 27 percent in 1988.
On May 4, 1989 the Police Departments Narcotics Bureau establishes a hot line. They had 122 busts in 1988, 50 in 1987 jumping an amazing 135 percent.
June 3, 1989, the Crime Prevention Bureau conducts a child ID program. 230 emergency child ID cards were issued for children. The program was such a success that a second one is planned.
On June 8, 1989 a civilian alarm coordinator is put in position to issue summonses to businesses exceeding six false alarms per year. Fines imposed were 10 false alarms- $50.00 each, $150.00 each up to 20 alarms and $500.00 for every false alarm over 20. Also on this date the Police were awarded a $9,500.00 grant from the New Jersey State Safety Council for the education and enforcement of seat belt safety.
On August 21, 1989 Scott Williams, Kevin O'Brien and Raymond Hayducka were sworn in as officers.
On September 1, 1989 Robert Cardone and Paul Cannamella were sworn in as officers. Also on this date Lori Sannella was hired by our agency becoming the first female officer in the history of the department.
On October 17, 1989, Ptl. Robert Cardone was killed in Woodbridge N.J. as he was assisting Woodbridge Police on a traffic stop. A passing motorist struck him.
November 29, 1989 was the day Kathy Curtis was hired as a dispatcher also hired was Steve Tanz, as a part-time dispatcher.
On November 30, 1989 Patrolman Cardone's badge #32 was retired, the first in departmental history.
Closing out the year, Officer Paul Cannamella resigned to pursue other interests.