Capt. Lisa D. Parker, a veteran officer with nearly 26 years of service to Manchester Township, will take the oath as Manchester’s next Chief of Police on Monday, March 2, 2015. She will succeed Chief Brian J. Klimakowski, who is retiring after 28 years of exemplary service.
Capt. Parker began her law enforcement career in Manchester Township on May 1, 1989, in the Patrol Division. She has worked in all of the Police Division’s major bureaus and units, and is grateful to have served under all of the Police Division’s previous Chiefs. Mayor Kenneth Palmer recommended Capt. Parker’s appointment as Chief during the February 23 Township Council Meeting. She is scheduled to take the Chief’s Oath at 9 a.m. on March 2 in the Municipal Complex Courtroom.
“The Manchester Township Police is one of the most well regarded law enforcement agencies in the State of New Jersey. Nothing makes me more proud than becoming the next Chief and continuing to uphold the tradition of excellence set by those leaders who came before me,” Capt. Parker said.
Among her accomplishments, Capt. Parker became a Detective in 1995 and while working in that capacity implemented a Victim Intervention Program (VIP) as part of her Master’s Thesis. This program helped to increase police officers’ knowledge of domestic violence, empower victims, and stop violence through strict law enforcement. The VIP Program became a model for the State of New Jersey, and Capt. Parker was awarded the 1998 Women of Influence award for her work in domestic violence.
Capt. Parker was promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and a year later was assigned to lead the Investigations Bureau. In 2006, Capt. Parker was promoted to Lieutenant in the Patrol Division, and in 2011 she became Captain, overseeing civilian and sworn personnel and running the Office of Professional Standards. In this role, Capt. Parker initiated the revision to the Field Training Program and introduced a mentoring training program for new sergeants. Capt. Parker also directed improvements to the hiring process and supervised changes to employee background investigations, ensuring only the best candidates are hired. More recently, Capt. Parker implemented the narcotics enforcement team, which has found great success in combating the area’s growing drug problem.
Capt. Parker is the daughter of Larry D. Parker, Sr., who retired as Stafford Township’s Chief of Police in 2005 after 47 years of combined military and law enforcement experience. Her father’s example of selfless public service led Capt. Parker into law enforcement with an emphasis on advocating for those in need. She is also the wife of retired Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Capt. Jeff Harper, who retired with 29 years of distinguished service.
Following in the Manchester Township Police tradition, Capt. Parker is an advocate of higher education and has completed many prestigious Leadership programs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and graduated from the West Point Leadership and Command program, where she now serves as an instructor. Capt. Parker also completed the FBI-LEEDA Executive Leadership course and Fairleigh Dickinson University Executive Leadership course.
On Tuesday February 24, 2015, at approximately 10:19 a.m., a green 2000 Chrysler Town and Country was traveling east through the north parking lot of the Wawa in Whiting and made a left turn, colliding with a green 2000 Mack Pinto Brothers garbage truck. That truck then collided with a tan 2000 Ocean County Mack recycling tractor trailer which was parked in a designated parking space at the time of the collision.
The driver of the 2000 Chrysler, 80 year old Remedios Brown, was not injured in the collision. The operator of the green 2000 Mack garbage truck, 45 year old James L. Rupinski, also was not injured in the collision. Grone’s Towing responded to the scene to separate the 2000 Chrysler from the garbage truck. The crash remains under investigation by Patrolman Ian Bole from the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Bureau.
After a distinguished career in law enforcement that began in 1987, Manchester Township Chief of Police Brian J. Klimakowski has announced his retirement, effective March 1, 2015. Appointed Manchester’s 5th Chief of Police in 2011 after 24 years of service, Chief Klimakowski is a highly decorated public official who has been recognized throughout the state for his leadership.
Hired by Manchester as a Dispatcher in 1987 and Patrolman one year later, Chief Klimakowski has had the privilege of serving under all of the Police Division’s previous Chiefs. Also serving as Public Safety Director, Chief Klimakowski worked his way up the ranks with promotions to Sergeant in 2000, Lieutenant in 2002 and Captain in 2007.
“It truly has been an honor to serve Manchester Township and dedicate the entirety of my law enforcement career to my hometown,” said Chief Klimakowski, a 1986 Manchester Township High School graduate. “I’ll always be grateful for having had the privilege of working among the finest Police personnel in the State.”
Working with township officials, Chief Klimakowski focused his tenure on bolstering the Police Division’s staffing back to an adequate level. Under his watch, the Police Division voluntarily met all of the standards required by the NJSACOP Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, bringing prestige and significant professional achievement to Manchester Township.
Chief Klimakowski has always prided himself on his accessibility to members of the community, listening to all comments and concerns. His leadership follows a “citizen first” mind-set which he has endowed to each Officer within the Manchester Township Police. Further, his extensive experience in directing all aspects of law enforcement and emergency service operations kept Manchester well prepared for weather emergencies like Hurricane Sandy and many winter storms.
Since April of 2014, Chief Klimakowski also has served as Manchester Township’s Acting Business Administrator when that position was vacated. Following his retirement from the Manchester Township Police, Chief Klimakowski looks to continue serving the public in some capacity.
Missing for more than two years from her Whiting home, “Annie,” a black and tan mixed terrier, has been reunited with her owner thanks to the efforts of Manchester Township Animal Control.
Animal Control Officer Margaret Dellapietro was able to reunite Annie and her owner, June Nicolaus, after capturing the dog and checking her microchip identification. Annie, who snuck away from her Crestwood Village 6 home, was adopted by Nicolaus from the Popcorn Park Zoo just three months before she went missing.
“I was broken hearted,” said Nicolaus, who canvassed the community with flyers and alerted authorities after her pet went missing in November of 2012. For more than two years, Annie survived on her own in the elements, and her whereabouts remained a mystery to her owner until this week.
Annie, who apparently had been living in wooded areas surrounding Crestwood Village, was being fed by a resident there since June of 2014. This resident on February 10 contacted ACO Dellapietro, who arrived on scene and was able to coax Annie into a humane trap using her unfinished breakfast sandwich. Though Annie had lost her collar and the identification it carried, ACO Dellapietro was able to confirm her identity through the dog’s microchip.
When Annie was reunited with her owner, her fur was matted and dirty, making her almost unrecognizable. But, Nicolaus, who initially was in disbelief that Annie had returned, said that she immediately recognized her pet’s eyes.
“In the back of my mind, I always held out hope,” Nicolaus said. “Miracles do happen. I was over the moon.”
ACO Dellapietro said that reuniting lost animals with their families is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, which she has been doing for 14 years.
“I love doing what I do, for moments like this,” said ACO Dellapietro.
Pet owners are reminded that having their animals microchipped can help to bring them home safely and expeditiously should they go missing. As in the case of Annie, collars can become lost, making microchips a crucial source of identification.
Mike’s Pet Grooming in Whiting donated grooming services to Annie, and Dr. Teal Ranney of Whiting Veterinary Clinic is caring for her health. Annie is enjoying being back home, again living comfortably alongside her owner.
Manchester Township Police have charged four individuals in connection with a recent string of burglaries in the Leisure Village West community. From December 2014 through February of this year, nine houses in that section of the Township were reported burglarized. Among the proceeds taken were jewelry, silverware and televisions. After a thorough investigation which included surveillance operations, Detectives from the Manchester Township Police arrested and charged five individuals in connection with the burglaries:
- Lionel Jones, 51, of Toms River, was charged with burglary and theft. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $30,000 bail, no 10 percent option.
- Mary J. Grasberger, 46, of Toms River, was charged with receiving stolen property and released on recognizance.
- Stephanie L. Milano, 24, of Toms River, was charged with burglary and theft. She was lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $15,000 bail, no 10 percent option.
- Stephan Gomez, 26, of Toms River, was charged with burglary and theft. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $25,000 bail, no 10 percent option.
- Also arrested was Gianna H. Florio, 22, of Beachwood, who is charged with possessing drugs, drug paraphernalia and an unlawful weapon. She was lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $5,000 bail, no 10 percent option.
While three of the suspects were already in police custody, Jones and Florio were apprehended by Patrolmen Kyle Rickvalsky and Michael Guarino on Feb. 5 following a suspicious person report in the backyard of a Leisure Village West home. In addition to his charges for the burglaries, further investigation revealed Jones was wanted on a $500 warrant.
Assisting with the investigation were the Manchester Township Police Patrol Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff CSI and K-9 units, and the Toms River Police Department. Residents are reminded that keeping their property properly illuminated at night can help to deter would-be burglars. Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity in their neighborhood should contact the Manchester Township Police at 732-657-6111 or use the “Tip Line” at www.ManchesterPoliceNJ.com.
Known by his wrestling name “The Badge,” Manchester Township Police Officer Chris Cerullo participated in a charity wrestling match this past weekend to raise money for the Heroes and Cool Kids mentoring program.
Officer Cerullo, who serves as School Resource Officer in the Manchester Township School District, prevailed in his battled against Josh “The Bully” Adams on Jan. 31. With a packed house at the Manchester Township High School gym, more than $1,000 was raised during the South Jersey Wrestling event.
“It was an awesome time, especially because of all the kids and parents who showed up for a good cause and cheered me on ringside,” said Officer Cerullo. After the match, Officer Cerullo invited the children onto the ring to celebrate his victory. Many Manchester Police Officers and Mayor Palmer were also in attendance to support the cause.
Heroes and Cool Kids is a mentoring program which utilizes current and former pro athletes to help high school students mentor those in middle school. These athletes train high school students on highly successful methods of mentoring middle school students on important life skills, including sportsmanship, conflict resolution and positive lifestyle choices highlighting drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention. More information about the program is available at www.heroesandcoolkids.org.
Officer Cerullo said there is interest in holding the charity event again next year. The Manchester Township Police would like to thank South Jersey Wrestling and the Manchester Township School District for making the event possible.
On Saturday, November 22, 2014, at approximately 10:00 am, Manchester Police responded to the Whiting branch of Santander Bank located at 409 County Road 530 for a report of a robbery. Investigation revealed that a male subject walked into the bank and presented the teller with a note demanding cash. The subject also spoke to the teller in male voice demanding the money. After receiving money from the teller, the subject fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was shown during the robbery.
The above photograph was taken on November 21, 2014 at approximately 4:50 p.m. It is believed that this photo is the bank robbery suspect on the previous evening. Manchester Police is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the subject in the photograph. If anyone can identify the subject in the photograph, please contact the Manchester Police at 732-657-6111 or Detective Adam Emmons at 732-657-6111, ext. 4203.
Also, anonymous tips can be placed on the Manchester Police Web Site at http://www.manchesterpolicenj.com by clicking on the “Tip Line” link. This case is currently being investigated by the Manchester Police Investigations Bureau. Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigations Unit and K-9 Unit assisted with the investigation.
January 31, 2015, Sgt. Richard Mazza observed a suspicious vehicle parked on Spruce Drive in the Richard Estates section of the Township. Officer Joseph Fastige and Officer Kyle Rickvalsky arrived to assist.
During the investigation, it was learned that the two occupants had outstanding warrants out of Camden City. Westville resident Kimberly Ott, 22, was found to be in possession of hypodermic syringes and drug paraphernalia. Atco resident Robert Stevens, 39, was found to be in possession of 28 bags of crack cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Ott was released on her own recognizance by Camden City and released on summonses for the local charges. Stevens was transferred to Ocean County Jail in lieu of $35,000 bail. The 2005 Ford Taurus that was operated by Stevens and Ott was seized pending forfeiture. This matter is pending court action.
The Manchester Township Police is proud to announce the arrival of K-9 Officer Storm, a 19-month-old German Shepherd who will reside with K-9 Officer Marc Micciulla and assist in patrol operations throughout the Township.
Storm arrived at police headquarters on Friday, January 23rd, and is scheduled to attend the New Jersey Police K-9 Association Patrol Class in March, where he will be trained as a Dual Purpose K-9. Dual Purpose dogs are trained in the areas of police patrol operations, such as tracking and locating missing persons, suspects and evidence, as well as in narcotics detection. With one of the largest senior citizen populations in the state and many vast expanses of wooded areas, coupled with the ever-growing illicit drug epidemic in Ocean County, Storm is a welcome addition to both our agency and the community.
“The arrival of Storm is a proud day for the Manchester Township Police. Having our own K-9 Unit ensures that our officers will have immediate access to a police dog whenever needed, which is beneficial in helping us to better serve our residents,” Chief Brian Klimakowski said.
Storm was purchased using money from Manchester’s Law Enforcement Trust Account, which is comprised of revenue generated from seized and forfeited assets. Furthermore, Storm received his name after Officer Micciulla, a Manchester Police D.A.R.E. officer, solicited name suggestions from his 5th grade students. The D.A.R.E. students were asked to select names and after narrowing them down to two, Storm was selected by popular vote. In addition to the 5th grade students from Manchester Elementary School, the Manchester Township Police would like to thank the following individuals and agencies for their generous help in assisting in the establishment of the K-9 Unit: Brick Township Police for donating a K-9 vehicle, Bradley Beach Police for their donation of a K-9 vehicle cage, Stafford Township Police for their guidance, Sgt. Anthony Turso of Tinton Falls Police for his assistance with training, and Whiting Veterinary Services for donating examinations and medications.