Brian Caloiaro was ceremonially sworn in to office as the eighth police chief in the Lawrence Township Police Department’s 94-year history last week.
Caloiaro, who succeeded Mark Ubry, was officially appointed to the police department’s top job in October. He had served as acting chief since Sept. 1, after Ubry retired.
Caloiaro grew up in Lawrence Township and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1990. He joined the police department in 1994, following graduation from Wilkes University. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001 and to lieutenant in 2014. He was promoted to the rank of captain earlier this year.
A bagpiper set the stage for the Dec. 13 swearing-in ceremony, playing the bagpipes as police sergeants marched into the municipal courtroom in pairs, followed by patrolmen.
The sergeants and patrolmen marched along the perimeter of the courtroom and then up the center aisle, past the bar and into the area reserved for the municipal court judge and attorneys.
The police department’s color guard marched in, followed by the lieutenants. Caloiaro brought up the rear, marching into the courtroom alone.
Mayor Christopher Bobbitt and the members of the Township Council sat in the area between the judge’s bench and the bar, along with retired chiefs Nicholas Loveless and Daniel Posluszny.
Jack Oakley, the township’s director of emergency management, acknowledged many of the dignitaries in attendance and the presence of police chiefs from neighboring towns, including Chief Nick Sutter of the Princeton Police Department, Chief Lance Maloney of the Hopewell Township Police Department and Chief Jim Geary of the East Windsor Police Department.
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri welcomed Caloiaro into the ranks of the police chiefs who have led the Lawrence Township Police Department. He described Caloiaro as a true public servant.
Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski told Caloiaro he would fully support the new police chief “every step of the way.”
“You are a good man, you have a good heart and you have a good soul,” Nerwinski told Caloiaro.
Then, with his wife, Tammy, and sons Michael, Ryan and Matthew at his side, Caloiaro was sworn in to office by Bobbitt.
In his remarks, Caloiaro said the evening was not really about him alone. He said it was also about all of the police officers, the civilian staff and the retired police officers present in the audience, because without their help he would not have reached this point in his career.
Caloiaro thanked his wife and sons for their support, and his parents for raising him and his brothers “with the highest of values and morals and for always being there to listen and give advice.” He also thanked his mother-in-law and father-in-law for their support.
Caloiaro acknowledged he comes from a family of police officers. His father retired as a lieutenant with the New Jersey State Police and his uncle retired from the Lawrence Township Police Department. His brothers, Lt. Joseph Caloiaro and Sgt. Brian Caloiaro, are also Lawrence police officers.
While he knew he did not have to follow in his father’s footsteps, at the same time he knew he wanted a career in law enforcement. He took the state Civil Service exam to become a police officer in Lawrence Township and “the rest is history,” he said.
“I have always been a firm believer that policing is one of America’s most noble professions. The actions of a police officer, in an instant, can impact an individual for life and even a community for generations,” Caloiaro said.
That is why every police officer’s actions must be grounded in community service, justice and fundamental fairness, he said. Having chosen law enforcement as a career, police officers are obligated to perform and live up to its highest standards.
“Always treat others with the respect and dignity they deserve. Treat others the way you would want one of your family members to be treated and remember that what you do every moment of every day touches people’s lives,” Caloiaro said.
As a proponent of community policing, he said, the police department needs to continue to develop partnerships with residents, local government agencies, religious leaders, business leaders and community leaders. The officers must become proactive problem solvers, whose goal is to stop crime before it happens.
Caloiaro, who was the police department’s first School Resource Officer and assigned to Lawrence High School and Lawrence Middle School, said one of his goals is to build a strong working relationship with the public and private schools in the township.
Policing has changed over the past 25 years, Caloiaro said, pointing to technology which has impacted the way police officers function on a daily basis. Looking to the future, he said crime mapping to predict future events, the use of social media in investigations and the implementation of in-car and body-worn cameras all present new challenges.
“The Lawrence Township Police Department is ready to move ahead and rise to these challenges. I am confident the future of the police department is bright. My door is always open to the community. Reach out to me,” Caloiaro said.