A Chelsea Drive home in Crestwood Village 7 was deemed uninhabitable after emergency responders extinguished a fire at the residence on Monday, March 23, 2015.
Authorities responded to 12 Chelsea Drive for the report of a residential structure fire Monday morning. Manchester Township Police Patrolman Vincent DeRome was the first to arrive on scene and noticed flames coming from the roof after a neighbor called police at 6:21 a.m.
Fire companies from Whiting, Manchester, Ridgeway, Lakehurst, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Pinewald, and Bamber Lakes responded and extinguished the blaze. The homeowner and lone occupant, Alan Palm, was not home at the time of the fire and was not injured, though household pets perished as a result of the blaze.
The exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though it appears to be accidental in nature. It remains under investigation by Ocean County Deputy Fire Marshall Mike Wolfschmidt. Manchester Township Building Inspector Nicole Ashkar determined that the residence was uninhabitable. The Red Cross responded and provided Mr. Palm with temporary housing.
During the investigation, an inert mortar round was found inside the home, requiring officers from the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad and Hazmat Units to respond. They determined that the item did not pose a threat to public safety. The Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 accelerant dog also responded to the scene and found no evidence of explosive or incendiary material.
Also responding to the scene were Manchester Animal Control Officer Margaret Dellapietro, and Detectives John Anderson and Thomas Haskill from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Manchester Township Police is proud to announce that its officers were among those who contributed to the more than $440,000 raised for the Special Olympics of New Jersey during the 2015 “Snow Bowl” flag football tournament.
Manchester’s officers and sponsor, Thompson Chiropractic of Ocean County, donated $2,230 to the effort. Teams were required to raise a minimum contribution of $2,000 to participate in the annual event held at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants.
On the field for Manchester were Officers Richard Mazza, Albert Vega, Douglas Higgins, Adam Emmons, Robert Maccaquano, David Fusaro, Christian Nazario, Patrick Cervenak, Jason Wiener, Joseph Fastige, Joseph Reilly, Michael Steffen, and team captain Kyle Rickvalsky.
Teams were made up of law enforcement and firefighters personnel from throughout the state. Though Manchester’s team had a record of 2-1 and did not make the tournament’s playoffs, the players were happy to participate and give their time to a good cause.
Since its inception eight years ago, Snow Bowl has raised more than $1,300,000 for Special Olympics New Jersey. The success of this event directly helps more than 24,000 athletes train and compete free-of-charge, year-round, in 24 Olympic-type sports, according to the Special Olympics of New Jersey.
Rev. James Davis, who has served as the Manchester Township Police Chaplain since November of 2011, is preparing to provide aid to those in need as he embarks on a dental mission trip to Bolivia.
As part of a team of 10 on the Christian Dental Missions/Medical Missions International trip, Rev. Davis, 73, expects to see 500 underprivileged patients free of charge between March 21-29. Rev. Davis, who has a dental assistant certification, will also attend the trip in a clergy member capacity.
This will be the 15th dental mission for Rev. Davis, a longtime Whiting resident who previously served as Pastor at the Whiting United Methodist Church. Aside from providing dental services, Rev. Davis has participated in 17 other mission trips benefitting those in need. Here at home, he serves as Chaplain for the Stafford Township Police and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, in addition to Manchester Township.
“I’m here to support the members of the department, their families, and assist in the community when called upon,” Rev. Davis said. Rev. Davis is an invaluable resource to Manchester Township and the other communities he serves. His duties include helping officers make death notifications, assisting with crisis situations, and mitigating the stress families deal with during difficult times.
“Rev. Davis is an unsung hero. He’s a tremendous asset to the Police Division and our community,” said Chief Lisa Parker. “His responsibilities often involve sensitive and difficult tasks, and he handles everything with the utmost care and compassion. We’re proud of the work he does here in Manchester Township and internationally.”
Beginning his chaplaincy work in 1976 in Williamstown, NJ, Rev. Davis over the years developed a greater interest in assisting the law enforcement community. He earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1978, completed numerous trainings and responded to major incidents including the World Trade Center site following 9/11 and Honduras after Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998.
“The way I describe it, I feel professionally fulfilled in getting to help others,” Rev. Davis said. “It is extremely rewarding for me.”
Staying up to date during power outages, severe weather, and other emergency situations in Manchester has never been easier thanks to free, simple mobile communication tools.
All residents are encouraged to sign up with Nixle, a secure and identity-certified communication service allowing for instant telephone, text message, email and online updates. The registration process can be completed on any cell phone capable of sending and receiving text messages; simply text the word Manchester to the phone number 888777. Or, register online by visiting www.manchesterpolicenj.com and clicking the “Sign Up for Emergency Notifications” link.
Messages can be sent specifically to residents registered within a quarter mile radius, or to all the residents within the Township. When citizens receive information from our agency via Nixle, they know it can be trusted. Messages may include high priority alerts, weather, traffic and/or other public safety advisories, or an assortment of pertinent community notifications.
By having the option to target specific geographical areas or the ability to create a Township-wide broadcast, we can choose who receives a message based on its relevance to that particular area. Residents also have the option to receive additional notifications from surrounding agencies that also use the Nixle platform.
Simplifying matters further, residents can use communications tools provided by JCP&L to receive and report power outage updates. Using a series of short codes, customers can send text messages to 544487 (LIGHTS) to report a power outage, request a status update on a reported outage, or make billing inquiries. More information is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
JCP&L also offers a mobile website and smartphone app allowing residents an easy way to report outages, manage accounts, and contact customer service. The mobile website is available at www.jcp-l.com and the app can be downloaded by searching for “FirstEnergy” or “JCP&L” in the iPhone or Android app stores.
The Manchester Township Police is pleased to announce that nearly $1,300 was raised for a local high school scholarship during its annual benefit basketball game which took place on Friday, March 13th. This was the 6th Annual Benefit Basketball Game which pitted officers from the Township’s police department against staff members from the Township’s school district.
The funds will benefit the Rodney Copeland Athletic Scholarship Fund, founded in memory of the 1983 Manchester Township High School graduate and coach who died in 2009 at the age of 44. Mr. Copeland, a lifelong Manchester resident, worked for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department in addition to coaching three sports at MTHS.
Chief Lisa Parker, who served as coach of the Police team along with Ptl. Doug Higgins, thanked everyone who participated in and attended the event. Among those in attendance were Mayor Kenneth Palmer as well as numerous members of both the school district, and the police department. Countless family members, friends, supporters and members of the community came out to support this great cause and cheer on both teams. The Manchester Township Police is dedicated to working with the school district to raise funds for Manchester’s students and is grateful to all who came out in support.
“We’re proud to join the school district year after year to compete in support of a great cause. Their high level of commitment to making Manchester a better place is impressive and inspirational,” Chief Parker said.
After several years of defeats to the school district team, which featured MTHS Principal Dennis Adams, the Police team pulled out the victory. Officer Chris Cerullo, who serves as School Resource Officer at MTHS, organized the event for the police. Players included Officers Robert Dolan, Charles Brooks, Richard Mazza, Christian Nazario, Patrick Cervenak, Keith Craig, Joseph Reilly, Jason Weiner, Matthew Juralewicz, Jesse Hoydis, Michael Guarino, Michael Anderson, Dan Wherle and Confidential Aide Greg Kyriakakis.
On Thursday, March 12, 2015, at approximately 1:30 a.m., members of the Manchester Township Police were dispatched to a rural portion of State Highway 70 near milepost 35 for the report of an accident in which a vehicle left the roadway and drove down an embankment in the woods.
Upon arrival, police discovered a 2007 GMC pickup off the roadway and in the woods on the eastbound side of Route 70. Behind the wheel of the vehicle was an unresponsive male who was in and out of consciousness. The initial investigation revealed that the vehicle was travelling eastbound on Route 70 when it left the roadway and struck a guardrail and several trees before traveling down an embankment into a marsh.
The driver, later identified as 35 year old Jeffrey Byrne, of Browns Mills, was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a Medical Emergency. He was later listed in stable condition with no broken bones or internal injuries. Assisting at the crash scene were Paramedics from MONOC, Quality Medical Transport, and volunteers from the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department. The crash is being investigated by Patrolman Antonio Ellis of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.
Residents are invited to support a good cause on Friday, March 13, when the Manchester Township Police face off against school district staff for a benefit basketball game.
The sixth annual benefit game will begin at 7 p.m. in the Manchester Township High School gym. Admission is $5, and will benefit the Rodney Copeland Athletic Scholarship Fund, founded in memory of the MTHS coach who died in 2009 at age 44.
The event has found great success in years past, raising $2,500 for the cause in 2014. Mr. Copeland, a lifelong Manchester resident, worked for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department in addition to coaching at MTHS. The Manchester Township Police is proud to work with the school district to raise funds for Manchester’s students.
Officer Chris Cerullo, who serves as the police department’s School Resource Officer at MTHS, organized the event and has been running practices in the weeks leading up to the game. The Police team is coached by Chief Lisa Parker and Ptl. Douglas Higgins.
“This event is a great opportunity for the community to come together, have some fun and support Manchester’s students. We hope to see everyone there,” said Officer Cerullo.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, Manchester Township Police patrol units responded to the area of State Highway 37 and Commonwealth Boulevard for the report of a multi-vehicle motor vehicle accident.
Shortly after arrival, it was learned that James F. Hilberg, age 69, of Whiting, was operating his 2011 Jeep westbound on State Highway 37 when he struck the rear of a 2009 Honda, operated by Katherine Marciano, age 90, of Manchester. After impact, Hilberg’s vehicle continued to travel westbound where it struck a 2009 Subaru, operated by Frank Sardoni, age 78, also of Manchester, and a 2013 Commercial dump truck operated by Richard Bonilla, age 30, of Farmingdale. Hilberg’s vehicle came to a stop after it crossed into the eastbound lane of travel at the intersection of State Highway 37 and Commonwealth Boulevard and struck a 2005 Hyundai head on. The Hyundai was being operated by Christopher Butler, age 28, of Manchester.
Other vehicles involved in the crash were a 2012 Nissan operated by Jayson Hodges, age 44, of Whiting and a 2014 Honda operated by Juanito Canete, age 72, of Manchester. Hodges’ vehicle was struck in the rear by Marciano’s vehicle during the initial impact by Hilberg’s vehicle and after doing so, struck the rear of Canete’s vehicle.
Hilberg was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with possible internal injuries while Marciano was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River by Quality Medical Transport for reports of chest pains. Hodges was also transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for complaint of pain in his lower back.
All operators and passengers involved reported to be wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. This crash is under investigation by Patrolman A. Ellis of the Manchester Police Traffic Safety Section.
Lisa D. Parker became Manchester Township’s sixth Chief of Police Monday morning, taking her oath of office during a promotions ceremony in the Municipal Complex Courtroom. Chief Parker succeeds outgoing Chief Brian J. Klimakowski, who retired Friday following a distinguished 28-year career.
Chief 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. Mayor Kenneth Palmer recommended Chief Parker’s appointment as the Police Division’s leader and Public Safety Director during the February 23 Township Council Meeting.
After taking her oath, Chief Parker thanked her family, friends, Chief Klimakowski, Mayor Palmer, and members of the Township Council, all of whom were attendance at the ceremony, for their continued support. Having served nearly 26 years in Manchester Township, Chief Parker expressed her gratitude for her fellow Officers.
“I am lucky to be their Chief. Thank you for sharing in all their success. Today is a great day for Manchester Township,” Chief Parker said.
Mayor Palmer offered his congratulations to Chief Parker and all of the Officers receiving promotions in Manchester Township, which he said has the finest police department in the State of New Jersey.
“The true mark of leadership is creating new leaders. I look up at the dais today and know Manchester is in good hands,” Mayor Palmer said.
The following officers also were promoted during the Monday ceremony:
Lt. Todd Malland was promoted to the rank of Captain. He holds a Master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, graduated from the West Point Leadership and Command program and serves as Manchester’s Accreditation Manager.
Detective Sergeant James Sharkey was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant after leading the Investigations Bureau for the past three years. He currently serves as the Executive Commander of the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team and was an Ocean County Regional Sniper for 10 years.
Detective Albert Vega was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after serving in the Investigations Bureau for the past seven years. Sgt. Vega is a member of the Ocean County Regional SWAT team. He holds a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and certifications in Advanced Homicide Investigations and Front Line Supervision.
Detective Christopher Hemhauser was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant. Dsg. Hemhauser served nine years as a Detective after working as a Patrolman and Civilian Dispatcher. He also served seven years as a member of the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team. Dsg. Hemhauser holds a bachelor’s degree from Stockton University.
Each promoted Officer thanked their family, colleagues, and Township administration for their support as they endured the challenging promotions process, which includes comprehensive written and oral examinations.
The Manchester Township Police also welcomed a new Patrolman. Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II Nicholas Greenwood, who joined the Police Division in December 2013 as a part-time Officer, was hired in a full-time role. Patrolman Greenwood holds a bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University and graduated from the Police Academy in May of 2012.
Additionally, Patrolman Robert Maccaquano, who has 10 years police experience and holds an associates degree from Ocean County College and Patrolman David Fusaro, who has eight years police experience and holds a bachelor degree from Stockton University, were laterally transferred. Both joined the Investigations Bureau after completing a thorough interview process.
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.