Six new Morris County Sheriff’s Officers who graduated November 27th from Basic Police Training Class were sworn in to their positions Monday by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.
The 77th Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Gannon gave the Officers a historical summary of the Agency and the Morris County Courthouse that was built in 1827 in Morristown. He also assured the Officers they have his and the entire Agency’s full support and asked that they stay vigilant in their duty to protect the Courthouse and Morris County Administration and Records building.
Sheriff Gannon noted the diverse backgrounds of the new Officers, who include several with military training and an Officer who emigrated to this country with his family from Pakistan.
The new Officers, who all will start their duties in the Protective Services Division of the Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Law Enforcement, are: Haider Asif, Travis Dean, Stephen Nowatkowski, Jennifer Powers, Anthony Walsh and Chelsea Whiting.
Sheriff Gannon administered the oath of office in the Morris County Courthouse’s Historic Courtroom; afterwards, Chief Kelley Zienowicz pinned the badges on each new Officer.
“You definitely have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people. It’s nice to have diversity in the ranks. We’re pretty good statistically but we’re always trying to do better, to emulate what the community needs and what the community looks like. It’s not only about diversity, it’s about inclusion. And we work very hard on that. We have a duty to protect all the people in Morris County,” Sheriff Gannon said.
Sheriff’s Officers have two roles, he said. That of warriors, trained to protect and defend, but also as guardians of people who are vulnerable or need compassionate attention while struggling with a substance use disorder. Modern policing has evolved to include a focus on helping substance users conquer their addiction while still arresting and apprehending the dealers, he said.
Half of more than 3,200 inmates that pass through the Morris County Correctional Facility annually have substance use disorders, the Sheriff said.
“Take care of people less fortunate than yourself,” the Sheriff requested.
“Be prepared on that warrior side. You’re trained for that. But I want you to show that guardian side. There’s people coming through the doors of this courthouse that you’re assigned to protect through the Protective Services Division. Not too many good stories behind coming to the courthouse. Maybe adoption,” Sheriff Gannon said.
“It’s a highly emotionally-charged environment here. So be on your guard and your head on a swivel. But extend a hand to people. Say good morning. Welcome them. Ask how you can help. You may be the only person they have right then and you can make an impact,” the Sheriff said.