SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Decades of policing showed up at South Brunswick Police Department (SBPD) headquarters last week to lend support to active officers.
In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of 18 retired officers came to feed current officers, dispatchers and staff members who were coming on shift. Chief Frank College, Chief Michael D. Paquette, Muriel Calvanelli, Capt. Gary Luck, Capt. Edward George, Capt. Joseph Charmello, Lt. Anthony Santowasso, Lt. Ronald Schmalz, Sgt. Joseph Duca, Sgt. Scott Hoover, Sgt. Albert Duca, Sgt. Hugh McNeil, Sgt. Kenneth Drost, Cpl. Frank Volpicella, Detective Gregory Rule, Ofc. Kenneth Kersch, Ofc. Marc Lorenc, Ofc. Steve Waldron visited headquarters on April 7 at 5:30 p.m.
“With the COVID-19 virus raging around us, these are truly perilous times indeed, especially with us seeing our friends and loved ones becoming ill, and some even succumbing to this disease. Though we no longer work for the SBPD, we understand the stressful and hazardous conditions the officers must now work under. Collectively, we want to lend our support to you and the department with a small gift,” the collective statement reads.
The retired officers, who served dating back to the 1970s, raised funds and brought dinner to headquarters. As the actives officers walked outside to get the food, the retired officers, spread six feet apart, began to clap. As one active officer said, “These are the people I looked up to when I first got here, and now they are clapping for me. It is humbling and reassuring to have their support,” according to information provided by the police department.
Current Police Chief Raymond Hayducka thanked the retired officers and support staff for all their support.
“It has been challenging but as always SBPD is performing at a high level under the circumstances. The food is greatly appreciated. If you told me we would be doing all the things pandemic policing is requiring us to do a month ago, I would have said you are crazy. Regardless of rank, every retired member’s talent and skills has impacted officers that are still active, from their experiences and lessons learned by each and every one of you. That is your legacy. I want to thank each and every retired officer for building this agency into what it is today and giving myself and the active members the experience and tools to police this township at a high level every day, in good and bad times. I truly believe we are the best municipal agency in the State of New Jersey. I am sure each of you are as proud of me to be part of the SBPD family.”