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.

Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Murarik Returns From One-Year Deployment With U.S. Army National Guard

Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Murarik has returned to his job in the Agency’s K-9 Section after a one-year deployment to a Western Asian country with the U.S. Army National Guard.

Morris County Sheriff's Office K-9 Section Detective Christopher Murarik with K-9 Partner Brutus.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Christ Murarik with K-9 Partner Brutus.

Detective Murarik now is partnered in the K-9 Section with Brutus, an exuberant 18-month-old Belgian Malinois from Holland whom the Detective will train throughout the next months on obedience, then patrol duties and narcotics detection.

“Brutus is friendly and seems like he’s going to be a great dog. We’re getting to know each other right now and working on obedience,” he said.

Detective Murarik spent his first deployment with the 114th Infantry Battalion providing security for an American military base in the Western Asian country.

Morris County Sheriff's Office K-9 Section Detective Christopher Murarik with Brutus.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Chris Murarik with Brutus.

“I missed family and friends and the hardest part was being away from them for almost a year. I’m glad to be back at work. I love the job,” Detective Murarik said.

“We welcome Detective Murarik back to the Agency, where he was deeply missed. We are indebted to him for serving in the Army National Guard, and grateful he’s back healthy and safe,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.

Detective Murarik previously worked for the New Jersey State Department of Corrections and the Morris County Correctional Facility before transferring in 2017 to the Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Law Enforcement, from which he quickly was assigned to the K-9 Section. The Section’s K-9 teams respond to more than 1,000 calls annually and share services with all 39 municipalities in Morris County.

Before his deployment, Detective Murarik had worked with K-9 Oliver, or Ollie, whose handling and re-certification training was assigned to K-9 Section Detective David Marshal.

Detective Murarik grew up surrounded by dogs and developed an affinity with them since his parents raced Siberian and Alaskan Huskies at competitions in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) Welcomes Four New Officers to Elite Tactical Unit

Four new members of the elite Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) were sworn in Wednesday, January 15, to the specialized law enforcement unit that responds to all critical incidents involving threats, hazards and crises.

Before an audience of fellow SERT members, friends and family, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon administered the oath that declared the new SERT members “Deputy Sheriffs” during a ceremony at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.

Morris County Sheriff's Office K-9 Section Detective Marc Adamsky is sworn into the Sheriff's Emergency Response Team by Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Marc Adamsky is sworn into the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team by Sheriff James M. Gannon.

The new members are Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Marc J. Adamsky, Pequannock Township Police Department Detective Matthew Halligan, Denville Township Police Department Detective Zach Lancaster, and Denville Township Police Department Patrolman Matthew S. Zurlo.

SERT is composed of highly-trained Officers from municipal police departments in Morris County and includes six Officers — a Detective Lieutenant, Detective Sergeant, two Detective Corporals, a Detective and one Officer – from the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Gannon praised the caliber of the newest SERT members, who were selected after rigorous interview, firearms proficiency and physical fitness assessments. The Sheriff also noted the sophisticated integration of SERT with a medical component called the Special Operations Group (SOG), and with the K-9 and Bomb Squad specialty units.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and members of SERT and Sheriff's Office Command Staff at a swearing-in January 15 of new SERT members.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and members of SERT and Sheriff’s Office Command Staff at a swearing-in January 15 of new SERT members.

“To just watch this team operate is something that is always embedded in my mind. The level of expertise is unmatched. You should all be very proud to be selected,” Sheriff Gannon said.

SERT Commander, Detective Gino Fluri, a retired Commander of the New Jersey State Police Technical Emergency and Mission Specialists (TEAMS) Unit, took charge of the SERT Unit in 2013. Between January 2014 and December 2019, he said, SERT has conducted 287 operations, including 19 responses to barricaded subjects, execution of search warrants, dignitary protection details, protection of President Donald Trump, counter-assault team details, and Homeland Security details.

SERT members, who assist in training local police, fire and emergency medical service workers, have undergone 2,898 hours of specialized training and more than 28,000 individual unit-training hours since January 2014, Commander Fluri said.

“We have a team of leaders on SERT. Everyone on this team is expected to be a leader,” Commander Fluri said.

SERT’s motto is: “Work Hard In Silence. Let Success Make The Noise.”