Six new Morris County Corrections Officers, including four who formerly worked for the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility in Sussex County, were sworn in to their positions during a festive ceremony Tuesday, September 10.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, who oversees the Morris County Correctional Facility through his Bureau of Corrections, welcomed the new employees. He promised them a safe and challenging work environment and emphasized a harmonious blending between the Bureaus of Corrections and Law Enforcement that comprise the agency.
“The Sheriff’s Office, in both bureaus, is very embedded within the law enforcement community in Morris County,” said Sheriff Gannon, who was joined at the ceremony by Bureau of Corrections Undersheriff Alan J. Robinson, Warden Christopher Klein, Sergeant Andrew Bileci, Captain Steve Piatti and Captain James Janzen.
With their families and friends present to witness the event, the newly-sworn Corrections Officers are: Heather Russell, Alyssa Jodexnis, Jennifer Demarest, Thomas Maroney, Christopher Ronald Gray and Wilder Pereira.
Officers Russell, Jodexnis, Demarest and Maroney previously worked at the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility in Newton, Sussex County, and were hired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office through an intergovernmental transfer.
Officers Gray and Pereira previously worked as Correctional Police Officers for the state Juvenile Justice Commission. They have several corrections-related classes to complete at the Morris County Police Academy and will graduate in November while the other four officers transferred from Sussex County are fully trained.
Morris and Sussex counties in May 2019 reached a shared services agreement under which female inmates charged in Sussex County are lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility for $105 per day per inmate, a fee paid by Sussex County. The pact was later amended to allow for most male inmates in Sussex County to also be housed in Morris County.
The new Officers have diverse and compelling backgrounds.
Officer Pereira, who was born and raised in the South American country of Uruguay, struggled with poverty that helped him shape his moral values and belief that nothing should be taken for granted. He came to the United States in 2003.
Officer Russell was the second woman in the history of Centenary College to receive the Criminal Justice Student Achievement Award. After graduating with high honors, she spent four years at the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility and earned a spot in its Special Operations Group.
Officer Russell also trains in Cross Fit and is a certified Krav Maga Instructor.
Officer Jodexnis received her Associate’s Degree from Sussex County Community College and followed in the footsteps of several family members to work in the law enforcement field.
Officer Demarest earned an Associate’s Degree from Sussex County Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Felician College. A fan of kayaking and fishing, Officer Demarest worked for the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility for three years.
Officer Maroney also obtained an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Sussex County Community College and then graduated with high honors from Centenary College, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, minored in sociology and received a certificate in Criminalistics. He worked for the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility for three years.
Officer Gray joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 2011 and was sent to Parris Island in South Carolina for boot camp from which he graduated in September 2011. He graduated in 2017 from the New Jersey Academy Basic Course for Juvenile Corrections and was stationed at the New Jersey Training School for Boys for two years.