Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Captain Who Commanded Agency K-9 and Legal Sections Retires

Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza, who wouldn’t let the amputation of his lower right leg deter him from a dream of becoming a law enforcement Officer, retired Friday, January 31, after more than two decades of service with the Agency.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon gives retired Sheriff's Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza his retired Officer credentials.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon gives retired Sheriff’s Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza his retired Officer credentials.

Detective Captain Chiarolanza’s final tour of duty was celebrated with a reception hosted by Morris County Sheriff’s Office PBA 151, followed by a celebratory walkout outside the Morris County Courthouse where fellow Officers lined up to wish him well as a bagpiper played and the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard held flags aloft.

Detective Captain Chiarolanza started his career as a civilian dispatcher for the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department in January of 1994. Offered employment with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in 1996, he graduated that year from the 48th Basic Police Training Class at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy and through the years was promoted, ultimately to the rank of Detective Captain on September 3, 2019.

“Working as a law enforcement officer for the Morris County Sheriff’s Office has literally and truly, in every sense of the statement, meant that my dream had come true. I have an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, pride, thanks, and accomplishment in my service to the people of Morris County,” he said.

Retired Morris County Sheriff's Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza hugs Lt. Michael Turkot at his retirement walkout on January 31, 2020.
Retired Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza hugs Lt. Michael Turkot at his retirement walkout on January 31, 2020.

“I could not say enough to adequately describe the appreciation I have for those who have influenced and guided me along the way. It is because of them I have little hesitation in moving on to other new, exciting ventures. I feel a comfort and calmness because of the drive and competence of those who remain to carry on their paramount duties successfully for the good of all,” Detective Captain Chiarolanza said.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said that Detective Captain Chiarolanza’s tenacity in overcoming a physical challenge, attention to detail and drive to improve the quality of the Agency made him an exceptional commanding Officer.

“Detective Captain Chiarolanza has been part of the backbone of this Agency and will be deeply missed for his wisdom, leadership and calm demeanor under pressure,” Sheriff Gannon said.

At the reception, Sheriff Gannon said: “You’ve done so much for this agency, Mark. I’ve always been impressed with you but having the opportunity to work with you these last three years I think you’ve made me a better person and all of us better people.”

Detective Captain Chiarolanza had thought of becoming an aerospace engineer or attorney but realized he wanted a career in law enforcement after falling in love with stories told by his father, a former longtime special police officer in Madison.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon gives Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza a sketch of the Morris County courthouse upon the Captain's retirement on January 31, 2020.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon gives Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza a sketch of the Morris County courthouse upon the Captain’s retirement on January 31, 2020.

After graduating from Parsippany Hills High School, he earned his Associate’s Degree in criminal justice from Erie Community College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Shortly after his graduation in 1992, he sustained a severe injury in a motorcycle crash by the Jersey Shore that led to amputation of his right leg below the knee.

After a long recovery, he was steadfast about finding a law enforcement position and walked into a Civil Service exam on crutches, still awaiting completion and fitting of a prosthetic leg. He was a dispatcher for about 30 months before a job opportunity arose in the summer of 1996 with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.

He adeptly passed all the Basic Police Training Class requirements, including the physical tests that included maneuvering an obstacle course and running a few miles a day.

Detective Captain Chiarolanza started in the Protective Services Division at the Sheriff’s Office, where he provided security and assistance in the Morris County Administration and Records Building and helped develop the Agency’s Certified EMT program.

In 1999, he was assigned to the Research and Planning Section, where he assisted with policy development, Agency reaccreditation, developed the Morris County municipal traffic safety and enforcement assistance endeavor, and trained the entire Office in a tactical communication method called Verbal Judo.

Detective Captain Chiarolanza was called on to assist with maintaining civil order at a World Bank meeting in Florham Park, at volatile demonstrations in Morristown by a white supremacist, and was part of a team that responded to lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, to assist with rescue efforts after the terrorist attacks.

In 2003, he was assigned to the Agency’s Process Section during which he served legal papers in parts of Morris County and served and enforced domestic violence restraining orders. He was a founding member of the Morris County Rapid Deployment Team and responded to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina Operation LEAD to assist with relief efforts in September and October of 2005.

In 2008, Detective Captain Chiarolanza was assigned to a Task Force that focused on organized crime, gang-related offenses and other investigations.

He was promoted to Sergeant in 2012 and assigned to the Family Section of the Protective Services Division. By 2013, he was tasked with managing the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section, and in 2015, he was assigned as supervisor of the Process Section, responsible for overseeing effective service of legal process throughout the county.

Morris County Sheriff's Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza says goodbye to colleague friends during a walkout for his retirement on January 31, 2020.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Captain Mark Chiarolanza says goodbye to colleague friends during a walkout for his retirement on January 31, 2020.

By 2016, he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant, assigned as Division Commander of the Legal Services Division overseeing legal process, administration of issued arrest warrants, and all aspects of K-9 operations.

He again was promoted on September 3, 2019 to the position of Detective Captain, in charge of the Specialized Services Division that includes Legal Services, pre- and post-foreclosures units, Process and Warrant Sections, and the K-9 Section and Bomb Unit.

During his career, Detective Captain Chiarolanza also earned his Master of Arts degree in public administration from Kean University. He is a commissioner of the Madison Housing Authority and has won awards on the job for his contributions to reaccreditation, maintaining calm at protests, and other achievements.

Upon retirement, Detective Captain Chiarolanza will continue as an adjunct professor at County College of Morris and oversee operations of the Florham Park Memorial First Aid Squad.

 

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Takes Oath As President Of The Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, who created the Hope One, RSVP-3 and other progressive programs during his first term, was sworn in Thursday as president of the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon was sworn in January 23 as president of the Sheriffs' Association of New Jersey, a two-year term.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon was sworn in January 23 as president of the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey, a two-year term.

Sheriff Gannon was sworn in to lead the professional association of County Sheriffs for the next two years at Mercer Oaks Golf Course in West Windsor Township. He succeeds the immediate past president, Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy.

“Sheriffs are the oldest, non-military law enforcement entities in history. I’m intrigued by that ancient significance and thrilled to lead the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey in an era when the public demands that its law enforcement leaders are highly trained and perform their jobs with impeccable integrity,” Sheriff Gannon said.

The 77th Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Gannon was sworn in on January 2, 2017 to his first, three-year term in command of the Bureaus of Law Enforcement and Corrections. On January 1, 2020 he started serving his second term as Sheriff after being re-elected in November 2019 by the voters of Morris County.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Takes Oath As President Of The Sheriffs' Association of New Jersey

At times partnering with non-profit agencies and the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association, Sheriff Gannon in his first term created an array of progressive programs that focus on curbing the opioid epidemic, crime recidivism, and threats to school safety.

Under his administration, a shared services agreement struck with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office calls for Sussex County inmates to be housed in the Morris County Correctional Facility at a cost, to Sussex County, of $105 per day per inmate.

Sheriff Gannon has made protection of all 319 houses of worship in Morris County a priority during his administration, with the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) conducting regular reassurance checks of these institutions in conjunction with local police.

The Hope One mobile substance abuse resource and recovery program, launched on April 3, 2017, won a prestigious public-private sector cooperation award in October 2019 from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  On New Year’s Eve 2019, Hope One celebrated making its 10,000th contact in the community.

Hope One teams, in stops throughout Morris County at least twice a week, provide free Narcan training and assistance with accessing recovery and rehab programs and services for mental health disorders. The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One program has now been replicated in Newark, Burlington, Cape May and Monmouth counties and is being considered in Somerset and Hudson counties.

Sheriff Gannon in 2017 created the Hope Wing at the Morris County Correctional Facility, which connects inmates with substance use disorders with services that include sessions on addiction recovery, anger management, repairing familial relationships.

The Sheriff, in collaboration with the Morris County Department of Human Services, also started the STAR program at the Morris County Correctional Facility that assists inmates about to be discharged with housing, job opportunities, and medical needs that include monthly Vivitrol injections to prevent relapses.

A major undertaking in 2018 by the Sheriff, in collaboration with the Morris County Police Chiefs Association, was the Responsible School Violence Prevention Preparation and Protection program (RSVP-3).  This multi-pronged program has brought together law enforcement, school leaders and mental health professionals for Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (B-TAM) training on how to investigate and weigh potential risks to school safety and intervene before violence erupts.

The RSVP-3 program has led to creation of a mobile app through which students and anyone else can anonymously report threats or security concerns that are monitored round-the-clock by law enforcement professionals.

In February, Sheriff Gannon will host a meeting of the Sheriffs Association of New Jersey in Morris County.

 

Morris County Sheriff And Corrections Officers Volunteer As “Bigs In Blue” to Fourth-Graders Through Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization

Morris County Sheriff and Corrections Officers who have volunteered to be youth mentors through Big Brothers/Big Sisters with their "Littles" on January 15, 2020.
Morris County Sheriff and Corrections Officers who have volunteered to be youth mentors through Big Brothers/Big Sisters with their “Littles” on January 15, 2020.

Nineteen Morris County Sheriff’s Officers have volunteered to mentor 4th-graders from the Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Morristown through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey.

As a group, participating Officers from the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureaus of Law Enforcement and Corrections met their “Littles” for the first time on the afternoon of January 15 in a large room at the Morris County Correctional Facility.

The Officers are volunteers in the non-profit’s national campaign called “Bigs In Blue” that matches Public Safety and Law Enforcement Professionals with children who can benefit from a mentor and rise to their full potential.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers Philip DeLuca and Philip Masi with their "Little" at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters gathering on January 15, 2020.
Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Philip DeLuca and Philip Masi with their “Little” at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters gathering on January 15, 2020.

 

The concept of being inside a jail intrigued the children, some of whom told Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon they want a tour, along with wanting to see K-9 demonstrations. Those adventures are ahead on the agenda, arranged by Sheriff’s Officer Kayla Santos and Bureau of Corrections Lieutenant Andrew Bileci and Sergeant Robert Horvot.

Sheriff Gannon greeted the children, who quickly overcame any initial shyness to join their Big Brothers and Big Sisters in activities and drawing games designed to reveal their interests and common likes and dislikes.  The Officers all brought along pictures of themselves as 4th-graders to show the Littles.

Soccer, pizza and music were attractions overwhelmingly shared by the Bigs with their Littles.

Sheriff Gannon told the Officers he was proud of their volunteerism and desire to help young people succeed, despite juggling work schedules and their own family lives. Prior to being designated as Big Brothers or Big Sisters, all the Officers attended an information session and volunteer training conducted by program specialists.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon talks to 4th graders at a meet-and-greet on January 15, 2020 where Officers acting as mentors were paired with children through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon talks to 4th graders at a meet-and-greet on January 15, 2020 where Officers acting as mentors were paired with children through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.

“Thank you for taking the time to make a difference in a young person’s life,” Sheriff Gannon said.

The Sheriff told the children he had mentors growing up, in addition to his parents, that were important to his growth.

“I think we all need a role model, someone to look up to, someone to emulate, someone to look up to.  Not everyone has that,” he said.

All the future sessions between the Officers and their Littles will be conducted as a group, with plans calling, in part, for a Career Day, Field Day and County Correctional Facility tour.

William A. Salcedo, Executive Director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey, was at the first session to thank the Officers for volunteering and potentially helping the children overcome challenges and obstacles they may face.

The participating Officers from the Bureau of Law Enforcement are: Haider Asif, Daniel Chiarolanza, Philip DeLuca, Kevin Helmlinger, Joseph Longo, Philip Masi, Michael Minovich, Stephanie Mitchell, Stephen Nowatkowski, Corporal Jennifer Franke-Parrillo, Detective Deanna Gardner and Sergeant Brian Stanton.

The Bureau of Corrections participating Officers are: Gina Figliuolo, Raymond Miller, Michelle Molde, Dominick Nicastro, John Wiggins, Daniele Vandenbos, and Ada King.