By Mark Rosman
MANALAPAN – Michael Fountain, who has been a Manalapan police officer for 21 years, reached the pinnacle of the Manalapan Police Department when he was sworn in as the municipality’s police chief on May 11.
In brief comments before a town hall meeting room filled to capacity with family members, friends, municipal officials and members of the police department, Fountain said he is grateful to be able to serve as police chief and to represent the community.
Fountain officially became Manalapan’s police chief on April 1, one day after Chris Marsala retired from that position. Marsala served on the police force for more than 25 years, according to municipal officials.
On a night when the police department held its annual awards ceremony and introduced the newest member of the force, K-9 Officer Grimm, Committeeman Jack McNaboe said, “there will be a seamless and flawless transition from Chief Marsala to Chief Fountain. I thank every member of the department for their service.”
To the residents in attendance, McNaboe said he takes great pride in seeing the members of the police department advance in rank and added, “You might have seen someone who will be our chief in 20 years standing in this room tonight.”
Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz offered his congratulations to the officers who received awards and said, “We have one of the finest police departments in New Jersey. They have come a long way.”
Committeewoman Susan Cohen thanked Marsala on behalf of Manalapan’s domestic violence response team. The volunteers who serve on the response team and whose identities are kept private, appreciate the support they received from Marsala and previous police chiefs, Cohen said.
Mayor Mary Anne Musich and Committeeman David Kane added their congratulations to Fountain and to the men and women of the police department who received honors.
Fountain was promoted from captain to deputy chief on March 2, 2015. As deputy chief, Fountain remained the commander of the Operations Division and assisted Marsala with the day-to-day operations of the police department.
In a previous interview, Fountain said that as Manalapan’s police chief, “The main focus is maintaining the efficient and effective operation of the department overall, maintaining constructive relationships with the public and the elected leaders, and ensuring that the mission of the police department is being carried out by all of our members.”