For Sayreville Police Chief John Zebrowski, it was a night to remember in Atlantic City.
Not only was he sworn in as the new president of the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) on Aug. 25, it was done before his fellow police chiefs around the state, acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, the Sayreville PBA Local 98 Honor Guard, his wife Kim, two of his children, Matt and Jessica, and an unexpected guest.
Just as Zebrowski was about to make his inaugural remarks, two large video screen flashed the smiling face of his other son, Jay, in military fatigues, who is in the U.S. Army in Fort Benning, Georgia.
At that moment, the ordinarily cool-headed police chief’s composure showed a slight crack, his voice full of emotion as he experienced such a career-defining moment in front of his colleagues and loved ones.
“Celebrating this profession and our roles as police executives feels good,” Zebrowski said. “For much of the latter part of two years I think `celebrating’ or more simply `feeling good’ about policing has occurred in a somewhat apologetic and most certainly, subdued fashion. Tonight, I’m taking on one of the greatest honors as president of this association.
“To my very best friends: thank you for sharing this night and for the special moments we created during all the years we’ve know each other,” he said. “I cannot thank you enough.”
Bruck lauded Zebrowski for his integrity.
He commended all other New Jersey police chiefs on the front lines of law enforcement, steadfast as they meet new challenges and regulations.
Gov. Phil Murphy, in a congratulatory letter, said that Zebrowski and all the police chiefs consistently “give their all to ensure that officers receive the guidance and instruction necessary for a bright and fulfilling future.”
Commending Zebrowski, the governor added, “The impression you have made on your colleagues and the amount of professionalism you have shown serve as a testament to your passion, dedication and capabilities as a chief of police and a public servant.”
Zebrowski will serve a one-year term.
The NJSACOP banquet, at the Hard Rock Hotel as part of the 109th Annual Training Conference and Police Security Expo, also featured the 2021 Valor Award. It was established in 2000 to recognize New Jersey police officers and private citizens who demonstrate exceptional heroism and commitment to their profession, their law enforcement agency and to the public.
Every year, the NJSACOP receives nominations from police chiefs statewide. This year, 33 officers were nominated by nine New Jersey police departments.
The award was presented on the dais to East Brunswick Police Officers Ryan Hensperger and Robert Thuring for preventing a suicide that also threatened the safety of New Jersey Turnpike motorists.
East Brunswick Police Chief Frank LoSacco credited Hensperger and Thuring for risking their lives to stop a distraught 28-year-old man from jumping off a Route 18 overpass onto the Turnpike on June 21.
- This information was provided by Jaffe Communications.