OLD BRIDGE — Six years ago, Mayor Owen Henry said he made a pledge to rebuild the Old Bridge Police Department (OBPD) and get the department back to numbers where it should be to provide the township the public safety it deserves.
“One part of that step is to add additional members and with that comes additional promotions,” Henry said.
Three veteran police officers were promoted and four police officers were hired last month.
Donald Fritz Jr., a third generation police officer, was promoted to captain. He has served with the department for 26 years.
Fritz was sworn in as an officer on July 29, 1991. He was promoted to sergeant in August 2007 and in August 2016, he was sworn in as a lieutenant overseeing the patrol bureau until his recent promotion.
In addition to his daily responsibilities, Fritz serves as a firearms instructor with the department, teaches at the Monmouth County Police Academy and has been a member of the Middlesex County Special Operations Team for 22 years.
Currently, Fritz serves as a commander of the patrol division and the communications and records bureau.
Edward Jarusiewicz was promoted to lieutenant. He has served the department for 24 years.
Jarusiewicz was sworn in as a patrol officer on Dec. 27, 1993. He has served in the patrol bureau and traffic safety unit.
On Feb. 8, 2010, Jarusiewicz was promoted to sergeant and currently serves as a lieutenant in the police administration bureau.
Along with his daily assignments, Jarusiewicz provides assistance to the department as a firearms instructor and police motorcycle instructor. He also teaches at the Monmouth County Police Academy.
Robert Mazalewski was promoted to sergeant. He has served the department for 20 years.
Mazalewski was sworn in as an officer on Dec. 30, 1997. He was transferred into the detective bureau/narcotics unit in May 2001. As a detective sergeant, Mazalewski will serve in the identification bureau.
In addition to his day-to-day duties, Mazalewski continues to serve with the Middlesex County Special Operations Team where he has been a member for 17 years. He also serves as an instructor with the N.J. Attorney General Gun Firearms Unit and serves with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Task Force.
Along with the promotions, Henry recognized four new police officers — Jessica Caffey, Daniel Haviland, Gregory Nielsen and Venancio Tavares – who have joined the police ranks in Old Bridge.
Henry said three officers went the alternate route and one went through the testing process in the township.
Caffey, 20, previously served as a special law enforcement officer and a dispatcher for the Rumson Borough Police Department.
She is a graduate of Monmouth County Police Academy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Monmouth University.
Haviland, 26, is an Old Bridge resident. He previously served as an auxiliary police officer in the township and served as a special law enforcement officer with the Belmar Police Department.
He is a graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Stockton University.
Nielson, 28, is an Old Bridge resident. He previously served as a Class II law enforcement officer with the OBPD and a Class II officer with the Jamesburg Police Department.
He is a graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Kean University.
Henry said Tavares, 25, is currently in the Cape May Police Academy and is expected to graduate by the end of the year.
Tavares serves as a volunteer firefighter with the Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Company. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Middlesex County College and earned a bachelor’s degree in national security from New Jersey City University.