Morris County Sheriff’s Office Welcomes Six Basic Police Training Graduates To Its Bureau of Law Enforcement

Six Morris County Sheriff’s Office recruits joined 58 fellow Officers on a stage Wednesday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany for their graduation from the 20-week 93rd Basic Police Training Class.

From left, Morris County Sheriff's Office Chief Officer Kelley Zienowicz, Officer Haider Asif, Officer Stephen Nowatkowski, Officer Chelsea Whiting, Sheriff James M. Gannon, Officer Jennifer Powers, Officer Travis Dean, Officer Anthony Walsh and Morris County Undersheriff Mark Spitzer at the recruit's graduation on November 27, 2019.
From left, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Chief Officer Kelley Zienowicz, Officer Haider Asif, Officer Stephen Nowatkowski, Officer Chelsea Whiting, Sheriff James M. Gannon, Officer Jennifer Powers, Officer Travis Dean, Officer Anthony Walsh and Morris County Undersheriff Mark Spitzer at the recruit’s graduation on November 27, 2019.

The Officers working for the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Law Enforcement will formally start on Monday, December 2, after being sworn in by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.

The Sheriff was on the stage with other dignitaries – Morris County Freeholders Stephen Shaw and Deborah Smith and Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp – and officials from the county’s Public Safety Training Academy, where the basic police training class was conducted.

Butler Police Chief Ciro Chimento, president of the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association, presented most of the 64 recruits with their commencement certificates unless their relatives who are in law enforcement elected to.  The class started out with 74 recruits, 10 of whom left the training before graduation.

“We are thrilled that six bright and motivated recruits with absolute integrity will be Officers of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office. We welcome them and their diverse backgrounds and life experiences, knowing they will enhance the Bureau of Law Enforcement,” Sheriff Gannon said.

The new Officers are: Haider Asif, Travis Dean, Stephen Nowatkowski, Jennifer Powers, Anthony Walsh and Chelsea Whiting.

They all will begin their duties in the Bureau of Law Enforcement’s Protective Services Division, whose Officers are entrusted with protecting Superior Court judges and providing security at the Morris County Courthouse and Morris County Administration and Records building.

Morris County Honor Guard at the 93rd Basic Police Training Class graduation.
Morris County Honor Guard at the 93rd Basic Police Training Class graduation.

The other graduates are joining law enforcement agencies around New Jersey, including the Sussex County, Hudson and Bergen county Sheriff’s Offices, New Jersey Transit Police Department, and Randolph, Harding, East Hanover, Rockaway Township, Montville, Lincoln Park, Denville, Jefferson and Morristown Police Departments.

Before an audience of hundreds of family members, friends and law enforcement Officers, the graduates were led into the Birchwood Manor’s ballroom by the Morris County Honor Guard and the Morris County Police Pipes and Drum Corps.

East Hanover Police Captain Jack Ambrose, a beloved, demanding drill sergeant at the Public Safety Training Academy for 25 years, kept the recruits in sharp formation.  The 93rd Basic Police Training Class was his last and he retired Wednesday after 33 years with the East Hanover Township Police Department. He was drill instructor for 2,383 basic police training recruits while at the Academy for 25 years.

Graduation Guest Speaker John Cunningham, administrator of the New Jersey Police Training Commission, told the recruits that integrity is the greatest asset of a law enforcement Officer and can’t be retrieved once it is lost.

“There’s only one person that can compromise your integrity and that’s you,” he said.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Butler Police Chief Ciro Chimento, president of the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Butler Police Chief Ciro Chimento, president of the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association.

Administrator Cunningham reminded the recruits to keep their families close because they will need the support in a challenging career that requires sacrifices. And, he said, perform the job so that the community puts its trust in the police.

“The bond of trust you build with members of the community is oh so important,” he said. “You don’t serve yourself.”

The ceremony included remarks by Morris County 200 Club President Bill Lockwood, Academy Rangemaster Mark Meehan, Assistant Academy Rangemaster Paul Carifi Jr., and Class President Savino A. Balducci, who is joining the Livingston Police Department.

The new Morris County Sheriff’s Officers are:

  • HAIDER ASIF. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1991. He graduated Morris Hills High School in 2008 and attended County College of Morris before joining the U.S. Army as a Calvary Scout in 2010. From 2010 to 2011, he served in Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 5th Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. After his honorable discharge, he earned a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from Montclair State University, and attained his master’s degree in protection management in 2018 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
  • TRAVIS DEAN. He graduated Morris Knolls High School and attended Lincoln Technical Institute for Automotive Technologies. He then worked in the heavy construction industry and joined the Denville Volunteer Fire Department. He was hired by the Morris County Bridge Department, where he worked as a bridge repairer and also joined the Morris County Haz-Mat team. He now is a certified EMT, Haz-Mat Technician, and a Pro-Board Certified firefighter. He was hired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections and in July of 2019 transferred to the Bureau of Law Enforcement.
  • STEPHEN NOWATKOWSKI. He was born in North Carolina and relocated back to New Jersey with his family when his father completed service with the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated Jefferson Township High School and initially pursued a career in the automotive industry. He held multiple managerial positions for companies that include Harley Davidson, Toyota, and Hyundai. He began pursuing a degree in computer science, concentrating on cybersecurity, and recognized a strong desire to work in law enforcement that led to his hiring in July 2019 by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.
  • JENNIFER POWERS. She was raised in Cedar Grove, graduated from Cedar Grove High School in 2008 and afterwards studied criminal justice at County College of Morris. She enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard as a wheeled vehicle mechanic in 2014, and was a full-time technician for the National Guard at Picatinny Arsenal.
  • ANTHONY WALSH. He graduated Parsippany Hills High School, and also attended a summer camp run by the Morris County Park Police for three years. He served as a counselor for two of those years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in justice studies and a minor in justice and families from Montclair State University. While in college, he interned with the Parsippany Police Department and with a private investigation firm.
  • CHELSEA WHITING. She graduated from Randolph High School in 2011 and attained an associate’s degree in criminal justice from County College of Morris. She attained a bachelor’s degree in justice studies, with dual concentrations in justice systems and paralegal studies from Montclair State University. She was hired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections, where she stayed for more than a year before transferring to the Bureau of Law Enforcement.

 

Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Undergo Training on Permissible Crowd Control Tactics During Volatile Events

Morris County Sheriff’s Officers on Tuesday, November 26, underwent in-depth training on how to lawfully maintain crowd control during emotional and politically-charged protests and public gatherings.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers in formation in riot gear during Field Force training on crowd control.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officers in formation in riot gear during Field Force training on crowd control.

The field force training, which occurred on the grounds of the New Jersey National Guard Armory in Morris Township, combined discussion of civil disobedience and First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly with physical tactics on how Sheriff’s Officers and all law enforcement Officers can protect themselves and others from harm in volatile and riot conditions.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers practice crowd control tactics during a Field Force training session on November 26, 2019.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officers practice crowd control tactics during a Field Force training session on November 26, 2019.

Retired Morristown Police Chief Peter Demnitz, an expert consultant in crowd and riot control, taught the session according to national standards. He stressed that police are obligated to protect proponents and opponents of an issue, and emphasized how Officers must strive to maintain calm and neutral attitudes in volatile settings while letting crowds know their boundaries through decisive words, stances and line formations.

“I’m training you for your safety as well as the people you are sworn to protect,” Instructor Demnitz said. He noted that Officers, in keeping potentially volatile events as peaceable as possible, also must display a cohesive and confident front to dissuade protesters from becoming unruly or violent.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon visited the session, and called Instructor Demnitz “the subject matter expert.” He said that Officers can expect to be called upon at any time to help preserve a safe environment – whether during a union dispute, a march or an organized protest.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers practice crowd control tactics during a Field Force training session on November 26, 2019.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officers practice crowd control tactics during a Field Force training session on November 26, 2019.

“Regardless of who the parties are we have a duty to protect them,” Sheriff Gannon said, noting that the Sheriff’s role is peacekeeper of Morris County.

As long as ample alternative opportunities are provided for free speech expression, the time, place and manner of that expression – such as a public protest – can be restricted when public safety is at stake, Instructor Demnitz advised.

He split the group of Sheriff’s Officers from the Bureau of Law Enforcement into four squads and had them discuss multiple other high-profile protests from around the country and how they were handled by law enforcement Officers.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon addresses a session of crowd control training for his Officers on November 26, 2019.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon addresses a session of crowd control training for his Officers on November 26, 2019.

Then, outdoors in the Armory parking lot, the group practiced line formations and use of gear in establishing boundaries and controlling crowds.  They practiced lawful measures of dealing with protesters who sit down or block ingress or egress from a scene and how to safely remove arrestees from a crowd.

Instructor Demnitz also had the Officers prepare for the worst by donning riot gear that includes gas masks and protective helmets with shields, in the event they are in a situation where weapons, rocks, bottles or chemical agents are used.

The training was overseen by Morris County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenants Walter Rawa and Aaron Tomasini, who both have attended Field Force Command Training for Executives at Fort Dix.

 

 

 

 

Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Sharpen Their Bleeding Control Skills In Readiness For Emergencies

A partnership between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management led to critical emergency medical training for Sheriff’s Officers Monday, November 25, on how to quickly control significant bleeding in victims of attacks, gunshot wounds, explosions and other catastrophes that could occur anywhere at any time.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers Stephen Chiarella and Nick Vernotica perform life-saving measures on a mannequin during a Bleeding Control training session on November 25.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Stephen Chiarella and Nick Vernotica perform life-saving measures on a mannequin during a Bleeding Control training session on November 25.

Expertise in life-saving measures such as wound management, proper tourniquet placement, chest seals, airway management and overall patient assessments are considered essential skills for law enforcement officers in today’s unpredictable environment. Rapid response, accurate assessments and immediate emergency medical intervention can make the difference between life and death.

The Bleeding Control for the Injured (B-Con) Advanced Refresher Program was conducted for Sheriff’s Officers by Morris County Sheriff’s Investigator Balkis Bernard, a highly-trained Emergency Medical Technician adept at mass casualty injuries, as well as Morris County OEM Director Jeffrey Paul.

Morris County Sheriff's Office Investigator Balkis Bernard demonstrates on Sheriff's Office Corporal Jen Parrillo how to properly secure a tourniquet to control bleeding.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Balkis Bernard demonstrates on Sheriff’s Office Corporal Jen Parrillo how to properly secure a tourniquet to control bleeding.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon recently approved the loan of Investigator Bernard to oversee a program of retraining Sheriff’s Officers and municipal Police Officers across Morris County on critical life-saving skills and how to use their Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) on themselves, their fellow officers, and the public.

“Through the partnership between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and OEM, we are finding ways to save lives, staying ahead of the curve, and better serving the public. We are paying close attention to real world incidents and asking ourselves what can we do here in Morris County to strengthen our capabilities and maximize our resources,” Sheriff Gannon said.

On Monday, Investigator Bernard instructed Sheriff’s Officers on patient assessment and the proper application of tourniquets, chest seals, wound management and airway management before they were sent outdoors in pairs to simulate life-saving treatment on a mannequin – as heavy and malleable as a human – who was severely wounded in an explosion.

Morris County Sheriff's Officer Greg Lukaszyk and Sheriff's Office Corporal Max Englert practice life-saving bleeding control measures on a mannequin outside the Morris County courthouse.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officer Greg Lukaszyk and Sheriff’s Office Corporal Max Englert practice life-saving bleeding control measures on a mannequin outside the Morris County courthouse.

All the officers verbalized and simulated that they would first put on their PPE gloves before treating the patient.

Director Paul and EMT Erika Hauser from OEM oversaw the hands-on care of the mannequin that required tourniquets, chest seals and overall airway management to ultimately keep it – as a simulated victim – alive.

While Investigator Bernard instructed Sheriff’s Officers on Monday, the 2-hour B-Con Refresher Program will ultimately extend across Morris County to municipal departments. Investigator Bernard will continue teaching this life-saving curriculum, sparing the police departments the expense and scheduling problems associated with attending longer training sessions at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center.

Investigator Bernard is also a member of OEM’s Special Operations Group (SOG), of which Director Paul is also the Commander. SOG is the medical team attached to the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) and is tasked with treating SERT members who are injured or wounded during an emergency response.

Through OEM, Investigator Bernard also is involved in the joint Sheriff’s Office-OEM Rescue Task Force (RTF) Training Group.  The group is currently in the evaluation stages of developing the ultimate curriculum that will be created for the RTF Program that will be responsible for training local emergency medical services responders, municipal firefighters and other EMS personnel who are members of local emergency response disciplines.

The Rescue Task Force would be deployed at the direction of law enforcement to “warm zones” to rapidly assess and treat wounded victims. The RTF’s goal is   to save lives rather than wait for scenes to be secure – lost time that can result in victims bleeding out and dying.