Middletown police department holds memorial service; promotes three officers

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MIDDLETOWN – In memory of fallen law enforcement officers, the Middletown Township Police Department held its annual police memorial service on May 14 during National Police Week.

The service was held at the Middletown Police Memorial at the corner of Kings Highway and Route 35, according to a press release from the township.

The memorial honored the 61 police officers who served the police department, five of them being K-9s

The service began with a call to order and the Pledge of Allegiance. Father Luigi Hargain and Deacon Martin McMahon led the ceremony with an invocation.

Police Chief R. Craig Weber and Mayor Tony Perry delivered speeches at the event and Deputy Chief Robert Stefanski read the names of Middletown’s deceased officers.

Members of VFW Post 2179 placed a wreath while bagpipers from the New Jersey State Police played music, according to the press release.

The memorial concluded with a Police Officer’s Prayer, recited by McMahon, and “Taps” performed by Middletown South High School student Logan Patterson.

May 15 marked the Middletown Township Police Department’s 93rd anniversary, according to the press release.

Officers Michael P. Allen, Charles J. Higgins and Ian May were promoted.

Municipal officials said Higgins was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. After graduating from the Cape May County Police Academy in 2006, Higgins was hired by Middletown that same year. He has served as a Field Training Officer and as a sergeant prior to his promotion.

Allen was promoted to the rank of sergeant. A graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy, Allen has been working on the Middletown force for 18 years. He is also a Logistics Specialist First Class in the U.S. Navy Reserve and has served for 16 years. Allen’s brother and father are retired police officers.

May was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Prior to being hired by Middletown, May worked at the West Long Branch Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division.

He began his career in Middletown in August 2010, where he serves as a Field Training Officer, Oleoresin Capsicum and Baton Instructor, in addition to this promotion.

Finally, Chase Schwerthoffer, Wilson Cartagena, Willard Potter, Rubin Walker, Steven Coll, Gary Kramer and John Zarkivach each took the oath of office and were sworn in as auxiliary police officers by Perry.