Matawan council swears in new chief of police

Councilwoman Josi Salvatore swears in new Police Chief Thomas Falco Jr. on June 6

The Matawan Borough Council has named Lt. Thomas Falco Jr. the new chief of police.

Accompanied by Mayor Joseph Altomonte, Councilwoman Josi Salvatore administered the oath of office to Falco on June 6 during a council meeting at the community center.

More than 70 residents attended the ceremony, along with members from the Matawan Police Department, Emergency Medical Services and the Matawan Fire Department.

“First, I would like to take a moment to thank you all for being here tonight. I am truly humbled and honored to have so many of my family, friends, and brothers and sisters in blue, including many chiefs of police and officers from other agencies, to witness the pinnacle of my law enforcement career,” Falco said.

Falco said he would like to thank his wife, Cindy Falco, and his two sons, Griffin Falco and Brandon Falco, for their unwavering support.

“I would also like to thank my mom [June Falco] who is in the audience tonight, and although he is no longer with us, I know my dad is looking down upon us filled with pride that I followed in his footsteps serving the community as he did with the Aberdeen Fire Department for [more than] 50 years,” Falco said.

Falco also thanked former Police Chief Jason Gallo and the men and women of the police department.

“During his command, [Gallo] allowed me to have a great deal of input into the operations of the agency, often saying I was responsible for 49 percent of it, [and] he took 51 percent,” Falco said. “That made my transition to this position and bringing me here tonight that much easier. I am honored to lead this group of dedicated professionals. These men and women diligently serve 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, striving to provide a safe community for residents.”

Falco said that as a Matawan resident himself, it comforts him to know his officers are out on the streets serving the community with fairness, compassion and respect.

“As your chief of police, I will continue our commitment to community policing by staying active in the community and in the schools with our youth and with our seniors, we can better serve and protect our residents and provide them with a safe community to live in,” Falco said. “To quote the founding father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, ‘Police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.’ ”

Gallo retired on May 31 after serving as chief since June 6, 2013. He attended Falco’s swearing-in ceremony and presented Falco with the police department’s flag.

“I couldn’t be handing this over to a better person and a better leader, congratulations,” Gallo said.

Contact Vashti Harris at [email protected].