Englishtown Police Department adds new officer

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By Mark Rosman
Staff Writer

ENGLISHTOWN – Todd Hardifer has joined the Englishtown Police Department as a part-time Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer. He took the oath of office during the Dec. 13 meeting of the Borough Council.

A Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer is trained in motor vehicle laws, first aid, criminal law, use of force and use of firearms. The officer has full police powers, but only while on duty.

Hardifer, 24, is a native of Toms River. He has an associate of arts degree in business administration from Brookdale Community College and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice at Kean University, according to Lt. Peter S. Cooke Jr., the commanding officer of the Englishtown Police Department.

Hardifer entered the Ocean County Police Academy in December 2015 and graduated in May. Since his graduation, Hardifer has been employed as a Class II officer with the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department in Ocean County.

Cooke said that after Hardifer completes field training, he will assist the department’s full-time officers on all types of calls for service. When Hardifer is not directly assisting full-time officers, he will be on crime prevention patrol and motor vehicle traffic enforcement assignment, according to the lieutenant.

In reviewing the police department’s efforts in 2016, Cooke said, “this has been a busy year for the department as (we) have already handled over 10,000 calls for service, which is the first time in my career here that we surpassed 10,000 calls.”

Looking ahead to 2017, Cooke said the police “plan on continuing our efforts to reach out to the youth in our community, so residents should not be surprised to see officers out of their cars interacting with the kids, whether it is shooting some hoops, tossing a ball around or stopping to see how the local lemonade stand is doing.

“It is these seemingly small, insignificant interactions that could hopefully build a bond of trust between us and the kids in the community. We want them to feel safe and to know the police officers of this department are here for them and that we will always be here for them.

“In my career here I have seen too many young lives lost to car accidents, suicide and drug overdoses. If the shared moments between my officers and the kids in town save just one life, then we have made an immeasurable impact,” Cooke said.

The officers in the police department are Lt. Peter S. Cooke Jr., Cpl. Trevor Martinson, Cpl. Michael MacInnes, Detective Cpl. Alex Dinicola III, Patrolman Scott Zapora, Patrolman Adam Liotta, Patrolman Michael Makwinski, Patrolman Ryan Carideo, Officer Katelyn Kwiecinski, Officer Kevin Romano and Officer Todd Hardifer.