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Morris County Sheriff’s Office awarded $55,938 in overtime costs for protecting President Trump

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a reimbursement of $55,938.90 in federal funds to cover overtime costs it incurred, in 2018, while protecting President Donald J. Trump during his visits to New Jersey.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon observes Vice President Mike Pence in his limousine pass through Morristown
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon observes as Vice President Mike Pence and his security entourage pass through Morristown in August 2018.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office played an integral role in the protection of the President for the duration of his periodic visits to the State of New Jersey. In particular, President Trump frequently travelled in and out of the Morristown Municipal Airport. The Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT), K9 Section (explosive Detection Dogs), Motor Unit, Bomb Squad, and Special Operation Group (SOG, a tactical medical component) all worked under the direction of the United States Secret Service (USSS), Newark Division, during these Presidential Protection Details.

On seventeen (17) occasions in 2018, the United States Secret Service specifically requested the assistance of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, as well as several other local police agencies, on protection details as President Trump visited his New Jersey residence. When these details occurred during normal business hours, the Sheriff’s Officers were assigned at no additional cost to the Morris County taxpayer. When their services went into overtime hours, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon applied for relief through a federal grant known as the Fiscal Year 2018, Presidential Residence Protection Act (FY2018 PRPA).

Throughout 2018, the Sheriff’s Office thoroughly tracked the assignment of personnel towards this end, and in late October the office filed for the grant. With the assistance of then-Congressman Leonard Lance, the Morris County Sheriff sought federal reimbursement funds for the County of Morris. A decision was expected in late December of 2018, but the shutdown of the federal government delayed that pronouncement slightly.

This week, Sheriff Gannon was notified that his application was deemed appropriate for the award of fifty-five thousand, nine-hundred thirty-seven dollars and ninety cents ($55,937. 90) in reimbursement funds to the County of Morris.

Sheriff James M. Gannon said:

It was very important to me, to seek available relief from the federal government, on behalf of the Morris County taxpayer, so as to not add an undue financial burden to our residents.”

Sheriff Gannon commented further on the emergent professional relationship forged between the Sheriff’s Office and the USSS:

It is truly an honor to be requested by the Secret Service to aid in the protection of the leader of the free world, I am proud of all of our officers for the exemplary and professional manner in which they carried out these duties.”

    “Here in our area, we have a mutual and cooperative relationship and are always available to aid the USSS, through our friend and colleague, Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt.”

    Morris County Sheriff’s Office SERT Commander Eugene Fluri said:

   “I am full of pride for the subsequent invitations afforded to members of our County’s Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.) and K9 Unit, to travel to the United States Secret Service Training Facility in Laurel, Maryland where they trained alongside the world’s foremost protection experts, the United States Secret Service.”

   “In 2019, we will again been afforded an opportunity to return to the center in order to continue this valuable drilling experience.”

 

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Celebrates Dr. Seuss’ Birthday By Reading To Children

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon wore the signature red and white top hat as he joined three other “celebrity readers” in reading books to children at the Morris County Library for its annual celebration of the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday By Reading To Children

As the Cat In The Hat would say, the Friday, March 1 afternoon event organized by Library Director Susan Calantone scored high marks on the Phunometer as Sheriff Gannon, Morris County Freeholder Heather Darling, county Administrator John Bonanni and Assistant County Treasurer Cathy Burd took turns reading books of their choice to the crowd of children.

The late Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss – was born on March 2, 1904. Following his death in 1991, the National Education Association in 1997 launched the initiative “Read Across America,” that includes the tradition of adults reading to children in schools and libraries as close as possible to Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

“Participating in activities like this is one of the unexpected joys of the job,” Sheriff Gannon said.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday By Reading To Children

Aptly, the sheriff, in uniform, chose to read aloud two children’s books with law enforcement themes: “The Police Cloud” by Christoph Niemann and “Officer Buckle and Gloria,” by Peggy Rathman.

Officer Buckle couldn’t get schoolchildren to pay attention to his safety tips – keep shoelaces tied, never leave a thumbtack on a chair – until he partnered with K-9 Gloria, who couldn’t communicate the tips without Officer Buckle by her side. Schoolchildren gave them cheers, they were on the 10 o’clock news, and they learned their success was due to their teamwork.

The Cloud’s physical characteristics prevented it from succeeding at police work until one day, ready to give up, the Cloud’s tears extinguished a house fire.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Library Director
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Morris County Library Director Susan Calantone with Robbie LoGiudice during a March 1, 2019 celebration of the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the Read Across America initiative at the library.

“I may be taking this one out myself,” Sheriff Gannon said of “The Police Cloud.”

Freeholder Darling read “The Peace Book” by Todd Parr and a second book about the friendship between a dog and litter of kittens. Bonanni read “Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms” by Christine Kole MacLean. Burd selected a Dr. Seuss story – “In a People House.”

Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Detectives Train With Dutch National Police K-9 Experts

      Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detectives Michael Carbone and John Granato and their dogs spent three days honing their skills in upstate New York with two, world-class K-9 instructors with the Dutch National Police in the Netherlands.

“This training with internationally-renowned K-9 handlers can only increase the expertise of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section, which provides critical security services, criminal apprehension and evidence detection in the county,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers in K-9 training
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Michael Carbone (in green) faces Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Detective John Granato during specialized K-9 training with Dutch National Police experts Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus in upstate New York.

Detective Carbone brought K-9 Loco and Detective Granato brought K-9 Spike to the invitation-only seminar at Upstate K-9, LLC, taught by guest K-9 handlers and trainers Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus of the Dutch National Police.

The seminar spanned Feb. 25 through Feb. 27, and covered K-9 detection functions as well as patrol functions that included tracking, evidence recovery, obedience and criminal apprehension, said Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Sergeant Aaron Tomasini.

Detective Carbone, an assistant trainer himself, also handles K-9 Boomer, whose specialty is explosives detection. Detective Granato’s second K-9 is Cinders, a certified accelerant detection dog.

The seminar exposed the detectives to training methods and techniques currently used by the Dutch National Police.

Morris County Sheriff's Officer with K-9 Spike
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective John Granato with K-9 Spike during specialized K-9 training in upstate New York with Dutch National Police experts Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus.

“This type of seminar is a wonderful opportunity for our K-9 handlers to receive training from some of the best K-9 trainers the world has to offer,” Sgt. Tomasini said.

“With over 60 years of combined experience, Hennie and Ruud are a wealth of knowledge on both K-9 operations and K-9 training,” he said.

Officers Bolster and Leus have both spent decades training and judging K-9s for the Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), which translates to the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association, according to their biographies.

The Netherlands, a country in western Europe that includes the province of Holland, has about 580 patrol dogs and 70 specialized searching dogs, the biographies state.