BY KATHY CHANG
OLD BRIDGE — The Old Bridge Police Department celebrated two promotions and two new officers joining the ranks.
Donald Fritz Jr., a 25-year veteran, was promoted to lieutenant and John Bulin, a 22-year veteran, was promoted to sergeant during a Borough Council meeting on Aug. 22.
Fritz, who became a patrolman on July 29, 1991, climbed the ranks to sergeant for the patrol division in 2007. He was promoted to acting lieutenant in August, 2015.
Bulin, who became a patrolman on Dec. 29, 1994, worked in traffic and safety. In November of 2006, he was named acting sergeant for the patrol division.
Two new officers were sworn in last month — Matthew Walczak and Peter Benedict, who both attended the Cape May Police Academy.
Mayor Owen Henry said the new officers will be an asset to Old Bridge and the police department. He thanked the department and the Township Council for making changes to the hiring ordinance of police officers, which now includes the written test, physical test and interviews, which have not all been part of the process since 2004.
“It was a department-wide effort, participating in the hiring process,” Henry said, adding that he was quite impressed in the caliber of candidates Old Bridge has attracted.
Walczak, 26, served in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as a corporal. Henry said Walczak is a decorated veteran, having received numerous medals and awards including Combat Action Ribbon in Afghanistan, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon, NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) medal, ISAF (International security Assistance Force) Afghanistan expert rifle qualification badge and sharp shooter qualification badge.
Walczak has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in national security studies and an associate’s degree in criminal justice and political science.
Benedict, 24, is an Old Bridge resident. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged after receiving numerous awards and medals, which include the Marine Corps Good Conduct award, National Defense Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal, Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal and Letter of Appreciation expert rifle marksman pistol badge.
Benedict is a graduate of Old Bridge High School and received his associate’s degree in criminal justice. He previously served as a volunteer on the Old Bridge First Aid and Rescue Squad.
Contact Kathy Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org.