The Manchester Township Police Department is proud to announce that six new Auxiliary Police Officers took their oaths on May 23, 2016, during a ceremony in the Municipal Complex Civic Center. These Auxiliary Police Officers were sworn in to their volunteer positions before Chief Lisa Parker, other Manchester Township Police Officers, and their friends and family.
The graduation marks the completion of training which began on April 17 and concluded on May 22 of this year. The officers completed approximately 50 hours of training and will begin field training by current Auxiliary Police officers. While the State of New Jersey requires only 36 hours of training for Auxiliary Officers, Manchester far exceeded the State minimum requirement.
“As an Auxiliary Officer in Manchester Township, you’ll have the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the best Police Officers in the State,” said Chief Lisa Parker, who also commended the recruits for volunteering their time to better their community. “This is a great accomplishment for all of you. Today is a proud day.”
Manchester Township Police Officers who served as instructors for the Auxiliary Police Academy included Sgt. Richard Mazza, Ptl. Jason Wiener and Ptl. Patrick Cervenak. The graduation of this class marks the third time the Manchester Township Police Department has conducted an in-house basic Auxiliary Police Academy. This volunteer arm of the police department assists with non-enforcement type activities such as crowd control at events, courtroom security and general uniformed patrols throughout the Township. Additionally, the unit is activated to assist the Manchester Police during severe weather and declared State of Emergencies.
The Auxiliary Officers were trained in different subject areas ranging from patrol functions, traffic control, police vehicle operations, crowd control, criminal law, preservation of evidence, court operations, first aid, CPR, police radio communications, use of force, domestic violence, report writing, and police ethics, just to name a few.
The process for these six Auxiliary Officers began in December of 2015 when applications were made available to the public. The selection process and standards to become an Auxiliary Officer are similar to that of a regular police officer. The candidates passed a rigorous background check as well. All auxiliary officers are held to the highest standards consistent with that of the Manchester Township Police Department.
Congratulations to our incoming Auxiliary Officers: Cirilo Hernandez, Joseph A. Dellavella, Michael R. Kelliher, Richard H. Sargeant, Susana D. Mahecha-Benitez, and Christian A. Hernandez. For more information about the Auxiliary Police Unity, please visitwww.manchesterpolicenj.com/auxiliary-police.
Manchester Township Police joined with other law enforcement agencies from throughout Ocean County on Friday, May 20, to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the line of duty at the 25th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Day Observance.
Last year, Cpl. Scott R. Thompson was honored at the event, with his name added to the Ocean County Honor Roll monument at the Ocean County Police Academy. His name joined others who gave their lives for their communities, including Manchester Township Police Ptl. Robert T. Tobias who was struck and killed along Route 70 on May 17, 1975, at just 23 years old.
During the 41 years since his passing, Mrs. Eleanor Tobias has been active in honoring not only her son, but all officers who gave their lives. Mrs. Tobias continues to attend countless Manchester Township Police events, as well as other local and national ceremonies honoring law enforcement. Most recently, she joined the Manchester Police Unity Tour riders in Washington DC for a memorial she called “unbelievable.”
“As long as I have my health, I’ll keep attending these ceremonies. It’s out of respect to my son,” said Mrs. Tobias. “He was a special person who always wanted to be a police officer. It’s just what he wanted to do. He was very proud and loved his work.”
That pride in Ptl. Tobias’ work was evident from his time as a student, through his career as a police officer. Mrs. Tobias said that his teachers praised him, saying that he was a thoughtful student who was a “pleasure to have in the classroom.” Once he earned his police officer job, that pride continued to show. Ptl. Tobias, whose father was an officer in Toms River, was “meticulous” in keeping his uniform in pristine condition and representing himself and Manchester Township well.
The bonds of the law enforcement community are unbreakable, and Ptl. Tobias, along with Cpl. Thompson, are remembered by their brothers in the Manchester Township Police Department each day. Likewise, Mrs. Tobias still keeps remembrances of her son, including his police uniforms and a 1973 green Corvette — Robert’s dream car. She also keeps in regular contact with Robert’s fellow officers and is known as “Mom” Tobias by members of the Manchester Township Police.
“All of the officers should be honored, and it’s great to see that they are honored,” Mrs. Tobias said. “I respect them all to no end. Being a police officer is not an easy job.”
On Saturday, May 14, members of the Manchester Township Police Department attended a meeting of the Pet Club of Leisure Knoll where they spoke about the K-9 Unit and were presented with a generous donation. Linda Campezi of the Pet Club presented the check to Lt. Vincent Manco, Officer Marc Micciulla and his K-9 Storm, and Officer Steven Wendruff and his K-9 Lynk.
“This donation will be put to good use to purchase items such as training equipment, canine-related vehicle equipment, and to pay for additional training for the unit. Since its re-establishment in 2014, the community’s continued support of our K-9 Unit has been greatly appreciated,” said Lt. Manco.
Donations like these help offset the cost for care, maintenance, and training for the K-9 Unit and reduces the usage of township funds. The Manchester Township Police K-9 Unit greatly appreciates the community’s continued support of the re-established Police K-9 program.
The Manchester Township Police Foundation is a non-profit organization which provides funding for youth and community outreach programs, police charities, investment in advanced education and training, and funding for specialized equipment and technology in order to help our police officers better perform their duties. To donate, please log onto the Manchester Township Police Website at: http://www.manchesterpolicenj.com/ and click on the “Police Foundation” tab.
Following the success of last year’s program, we’re pleased to announced that the Manchester Township Police will sponsor a Youth Police Academy this summer for Manchester Township students entering grades 6th,7th and 8th as of September 2016. The Youth Police Academy will be held at Police headquarters from August 1st to August 5th.
Please click the link below for all of the details and to download the registration packet.
On Monday, May 16, 2016, at approximately 4:15 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department, along with several local fire companies, responded to the report of a structure fire inside of a mobile home on Walden Way in the Pine Ridge section of Manchester Township.
Upon arrival, officers reported that the residence was engulfed in flames and that the home was unoccupied. While firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, the 58 year old resident of the mobile home told investigators that she was cooking oil on the stove when she became distracted for a short period of time. Upon returning to the kitchen, she reported that the fire had spread beyond her ability to put it out with a fire extinguisher. The fire was extinguished by members of the Whiting, Manchester, Ridgeway and Lakehurst Volunteer Fire Companies. The Manchester Township Building Inspector deemed the mobile home uninhabitable and the homeowner was relocated to her daughter’s residence in Bayville.
Although the fire is not considered suspicious in nature, the exact cause and origin is being investigated by Detective Adam Emmons of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Investigations Bureau with the assistance of the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The Manchester Township Police would like to remind residents to check their smoke detector batteries at least two times per year and to never leave food unattended while cooking.
In an effort to increase traffic safety, construction of a concrete island prohibiting left turns out of Wilbur Avenue onto State Highway 70 is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 16. When construction of the island has been completed, “No Left Turn” signs will be erected and a Visual Message Board will be placed at the site advising motorist of the traffic pattern change. Additionally, the Head Start and Board of Education were advised about the change and will adjust their busing and drop off routes accordingly.
The milling and paving portion of the project will begin either at the end of this week or the beginning of the following week. The project is expect to take two days total to complete. For everyone’s safety, please heed all detour signs and Police Officer instructions in the area during this time.
Riding in honor of Cpl. Scott R. Thompson, members of the Manchester Township Police Department commenced a four day Police Unity Tour bicycle journey to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC following a heartfelt ceremony at the Municipal Complex on Monday afternoon.
Each year, a group of Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department has completed the Unity Tour in honor of Ptl. Robert Tobias, who was struck by a passing motorist and killed while conducting a traffic stop along Route 70 in 1975. In addition to Ptl. Tobias, whose family was in attendance, this year’s ride honors Cpl. Thompson, who passed away on April 10, 2015, while exercising in the police headquarters gym. His wife, Mrs. Tracy Thompson, was presented with the Unity Tour Gold Rose during the riders’ stop in Manchester Township.
“We remember the sacrifices, we care for those left behind, and we never forget that it is a privilege to be in this Blue fraternity, because there is no other one like it. It is an honor to be a part of this Unity Tour to ride for those who died,” said Chief Lisa Parker, who along with Mayor Kenneth Palmer and Rev. James Davis, offered remarks in remembrance of Cpl. Thompson and all of those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities.
The approximately 600 riders from Chapter 10 of the Unity Tour began their ride in Hamilton Township, making several ceremonial stops as they made their way to Manchester Township at about 5:30 p.m. The Manchester and Ridgeway Fire Companies proudly displayed the American Flag at the Municipal Complex entrance as riders entered the driveway.
After breaking for the night, Unity Tour riders will continue their journey Tuesday morning, arriving at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Thursday, May 12. The 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil honoring fallen law enforcement officers at the Memorial will be held at the National Mall on Friday, May 13.
Founded in 1997, the Police Unity Tour, whose motto is, “We Ride for Those Who Died,” has raised awareness and millions of dollars in funding for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. Manchester Township Police Officers have been participating for the past 11 years. They ride in honor of all fallen officers, but especially Ptl. Robert Tobias and Cpl. Scott R. Thompson.
The riders representing the Manchester Township Police Department this year are Sgt. Michael Leming, Dsg. Christopher Hemhauser, Cpl. Douglas Higgins, Ptl. Michael Anderson, Ptl. Michael Lynch, Ptl. Shawn Cavalcante, Ptl. Thomas Chant, Ptl. Brian Collins, Ptl. Arthur Cronk, Ptl. Anthony Iliadis, and Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky. They will be joined by Mrs. Thompson and John Tobias, a Point Pleasant Beach Borough Patrolman who is the brother of Ptl. Robert Tobias. Chief Lisa Parker will rejoin the riders in Washington DC on Thursday to attend the Candlelight Vigil the following day.
We would like to thank all of the supporters of the Unity Tour for their generous contributions. To make a donation, please visit www.policeunitytourchapter10.com/donate.
Summit Park resident and United States Army Sergeant Major, Harrington Henry was welcomed home by officers of the Manchester Township Police on May 5, 2016. Several uniformed officers, led by Chief Lisa Parker and members of the department’s Command Staff, escorted Sgt. Major Henry and his wife, Kristy from the township border on Route 70 to his residence in Summit Park. Once there, Henry was greeted and welcomed with handshakes, hugs and applause as a sign of appreciation for his committed service to this country. Henry, a Sergeant Major with the 77th Sustainment Brigade stationed out of Fort Dix was deployed in Iraq for the last 9 months. His mission during his deployment was to advise and assist the Iraqi Army in their logistical efforts to defeat ISIS.
After a brief stop at his residence, Henry was escorted to the Manchester Township High School to surprise his daughter Amaris Butler, a 16 year old sophomore. At the school, officers entered Amaris’ classroom advising the unsuspecting students of their intention to give a safety presentation. Once inside the room, Henry entered last surprising his daughter, who was overcome with emotion. The reunion with his eldest daughter was followed by two additional reunions when Henry was escorted to Manchester Township Elementary School to surprise his daughter, Loghan, a 4th grader and his son, Aaron, a kindergartener at the school. In both cases, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department entered to the classroom first to divert the children’s attention, while Henry came in last to surprise them.
“This was an excellent opportunity for the Manchester Township Police to show their support for the men and women of the United States Military and the sacrifices that they make every day. It was a true honor to be able to welcome Sgt. Major Henry home today”, said Chief Lisa. D. Parker.
While deployed and away from his family, his wife Kristy, like so many other spouses of America’s brave servicemen and women, was home tending to family on the home front. Unlike most other spouses, however, Kristy had to endure a two month tumultuous time period, wherein her neighbor’s house was shot at multiple times in the fall of 2015. Despite being fearful for not only her safety but for that of her children, making them sleep on the floor behind concrete walls for protection, Kristy, a brave and strong person in her own right, successfully started a neighborhood watch program within the development under the guidance of Det. Sgt. Chris Hemhauser. Kristy was instrumental in organizing local residents within her neighborhood to come together as a means of looking after each other as well as providing additional eyes and ears for the police department. Their assistance coupled with the tenacity of several Manchester Police detectives led to the arrest of numerous individuals. Although the problem has long since been removed from the neighborhood, Kristy continues to lead the neighborhood watch program. “It is apparent that bravery and commitment to service runs strong in this family”, said Parker.
The Manchester Township Police Department is pleased to announce the arrival of K-9 Lynk’s body armor on April 15, 2016. K-9 Lynk received the bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by Joanne Wright of Manchester, NJ and is embroidered with the sentiment “In loving memory of Wayne T. Wright – Be safe.”
In addition to sponsoring the bullet and stab protective vest for K-9 Lynk, Joanne Wright also made a monetary donation in support of the Manchester Township Police K-9 Unit. Chief Lisa Parker accepted the donation from Joanne Wright at police headquarters, today, in the presence of Manchester Business Administrator, Donna Markulic, K-9 Unit supervisor, Lt. Vincent Manco, K-9 Handler, Ptl. Steven Wendruff and his K-9 partner, Lynk. “We, the members of the Manchester Township Police Department express our sincere gratitude to both Joanne Wright and the Vested Interest in K9s Organization for their generosity and support of our K-9 Unit,” Manchester Township Police Chief Lisa parker said.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,800 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.6 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
On Monday, April 25, 2016, at approximately 5:37 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Route 70 and Roosevelt City Road for the report of a single vehicle crash involving a pickup truck which had left the roadway and was in the woods.
Upon arrival, officers learned that a red, 1999, Dodge Dakota pickup, was traveling west on Route 70 when the driver, identified as 57 year old, Michael Valladares of Little Egg Harbor, suffered a medical emergency which caused him to lose control of his vehicle. As a result, Valladares’s vehicle crossed the centerline, left the roadway and crashed into a telephone pole and several trees on the eastbound shoulder. Valladares was travelling alone at the time of the crash and was properly restrained with his safety belt. No other vehicles were involved.
Valladares was transported by Medivac Helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash and his current condition is unknown. Assisting at the scene were members from Quality Medical Transport and the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department as well as Paramedics from MONOC. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Vincent DeRome of the Patrol Bureau with the assistance of Patrolman Antonio Ellis of the Traffic Safety Unit.