WOODBRIDGE – Six new police officers have joined the ranks of the Woodbridge Township Police Department.
In a ceremony on Jan. 10, Mayor John McCormac said the officers are joining the best police department in the state, noting the department gets accredited every three years by a national firm.
“[The firm] comes out and looks at every single practice, policy, procedure that this police department follows,” he said. “[The firm] looks us up and down, inside and out and they always come back with the best possible review and the highest possible accreditation. That is attributed to the leadership of the police department, but also to the men and women who work in the police department, civilians included.”
The six new officers completed the state-mandated six-month police training program at the Cape May County Police Training Academy and will take up patrol assignments on the streets of the township. The appointments were approved after the recruits successfully completed an extensive testing and eligibility process overseen by the New Jersey Department of Personnel, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Woodbridge Police Department.
“The public safety mission of the Woodbridge Police Department is our most important priority,” McCormac said in a press release on Jan. 10. “As a result of our commitment to public safety, combined with the increased assignment of uniformed officers to street patrol, the Woodbridge Police Department continues to maintain police ranks at a maximum staffing level of more than 200 sworn officers effectively protecting public safety.”
The new officers were sworn in front of members of the Woodbridge Police Command Staff, fellow police officers, families, friends and dignitaries.
The officers are:
Samantha T. Siana, 23, is a lifelong resident of Hopelawn. She is a graduate of Woodbridge High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and minor in sociology from Rutgers University. Siana was employed as a corrections officer by the Middlesex County Department of Corrections prior to being hired by the Woodbridge Police Department.
Khari S. Manzini, 23, has been a resident of Woodbridge since 2011. He is a graduate of Woodbridge High School and is currently working toward his degree in public and nonprofit administration at Rutgers University in Newark. Manzini was a member of the Woodbridge Police Department Auxiliary since March 2014, where he held the rank of sergeant prior to being hired by the Woodbridge Police Department.
Andrew J. Kotarsky, 30, a resident of Colonia, is a graduate of Woodbridge High School. He was formerly employed by the Woodbridge Township Road Department and has worked for the township since April 2015. Kotarsky’s grandfather was Steve Yuhasz and his uncle was John Yuhasz, both members of the Woodbridge Police Department.
Robert W. Vanco, 25, is a lifelong resident of Colonia. He is a graduate of Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison and earned his bachelor’s degree in radio, television and movie communications from Rowan University. Prior to being hired by the Woodbridge Police Department, Vanco worked for News 12 New Jersey at Raritan Center in Edison.
Neil E. Garrett, 25, is a lifelong resident of the Colonia. He is a graduate of Colonia High School and earned his bachelor’s degree with a major in criminal justice and a minor in sociology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Garrett was a member of the Woodbridge Police Auxiliary since June 2015 prior to being hired by the Woodbridge Police Department.
Stephen L. Zimmerman, 27, is a resident of Colonia. He is a graduate of Colonia High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Middlesex County College and Montclair State University. Zimmerman previously served with the Springfield Township Police Department after graduation from the Essex County Public Safety Academy in December 2016.