Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele had some advice for the five new township police officers after they were sworn in at Town Hall - family comes first.
"Well, gentlemen, how do you feel?" she said. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I sure hope you generate a bond between each other, but take care of your family first."
The five new officers - all from Berkeley and all graduates of Central Regional High School - underwent intensive psychological testing, background checks and interviews with senior officers in the department before they were selected, DiMichele said.
"We couldn't find anything bad..." she joked. "Do a good job for me."
Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. administered the oath of office to each new police department member.
Amato thanked the Township Council for agreeing to hire the five new officers, who will replace veteran officers who are retiring or have already retired.
"They are going to be needed very soon," the mayor said. "I want to make sure we have an smooth transition."
The new officers include:
- Scott Rudolph, 27. Rudolph previously was an emergency management specialist with the Ocean County Health Department. He is a certified Class I and Class II police officer and worked as a seasonal police officer in Seaside Heights. He attended Ocean County College, Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University, where his major was criminal justice.
- Jonathan Mulvihill, 20. He attended East Carolina University before transferring to Ocean County College in 2010.
- Shawn Bowens, 24. Bowens worked as a Class I and Class II police officer in Belmar and a Class II officer and dispatcher in Ocean Township. He graduated from Kean University in 2008 and earned a master's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2011.
- Taylor Butler, 24. Butler has worked as a lifeguard in Seaside Park since 2004. He attended classes at Rutgers University and Ocean County College.
- Alfred Foca Jr., 19. Foca searved as a Class I police officer in Seaside Park in 2010 and was attending the Ocean County Police Academy for Class II training before being hired in Berkeley. He also attended Ocean County College for a year.
"These are are all fine young men and each one will make an excellent addition to our department," Amato said after the ceremony. Because of prior training, Officer Rudolph and Officer Bowens will receive some additional training within the department and should be on the road pretty quickly."
Butler, Foca and Mulvihill will start the Ocean County Police Academy on Thursday.
"Enjoy the rest of your day," DiMichele joked after the officers were sworn in. "Come Thursday, you are not going to be having fun."
Sgt. James Blair was promoted to lieutenant at the ceremony. Blair now heads the department's traffic safety division.