Award Presentation: Officer Michael Verwey of the Lacey Township Department is the recipient of the 2014 Kimberly Smith-Ames DWI Prevention Award for his distinguished and consistent efforts in DWI enforcement. Officer Verwey has been recognized as a standout among his peers in law enforcement throughout Ocean County. The Kimberly Smith-Ames DWI Prevention Award is presented annually by the Ocean County Police Traffic Officer’s Association to one officer in recognition of that officer’s diligent and consistent efforts to combat the dangers of impaired driving.
Officer Michael Verwey transferred to the Lacey Township Police Department on November 14, 2013, and has truly been an asset to Lacey Township in his first year in the uniformed patrol division. Receiving the Kimberly Smith-Ames DWI Prevention Award is truly an honor for Officer Verwey, and it brings pride and honor to the Lacey Township Police Department as a whole. The Lacey Township Police Department now has the distinct honor of having two dedicated officers receive the award for two consecutive years, as Officer Dimitrios Tsarnas was the 2013 recipient. This is a testament to the dedication the officers of the Lacey Township Police Department have in keeping the roadways of the township as safe as possible for all. Given the highly publicized tragedies related to impaired driving throughout the county this past year, diligent DWI enforcement must continue to be a priority in the year to come. – Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
The Kimberly Smith-Ames DWI Prevention Award (History): On October 7, 1998, Kimberly Smith-Ames was killed at the age of 23 by an extremely reckless intoxicated driver in Beachwood. The tragic accident not only claimed her life, but also the life of her unborn child. The award was created by Edward and Carol Smith in memory of their daughter Kimberly to honor the hard work and determination of an Ocean County police officer who has demonstrated a strong commitment toward the effort to stop drunk driving.
Department News (Retirement) – Congratulations to Sergeant James A. Tranz on his December 1st, 2014, retirement from the Lacey Township Police Department. Sergeant Tranz is known in the township for his community-based work throughout his career. Sergeant Tranz volunteered during a large portion of his career coaching youth soccer in Lacey Township. Sergeant Tranz developed, coordinated, and administered the 2009 Junior Police Academy and was an integral part of bringing the Cops Collectible Card program to Lacey Township. His efforts were consistently focused around bringing the police department closer to the youth of Lacey Township. Likewise, Sergeant Tranz brought joy and special memories for the families of police department members each year through organizing a special annual Christmas breakfast for nearly 20 years. The members of the Lacey Township Police Department will certainly miss the special contributions of Sergeant Tranz in his retirement.
The retirement of Sergeant Tranz marks the loss of 15 full-time police officers (not including special officers) from the Lacey Township Police Department in the past 4 1/2 years. The members of the Lacey Township Police Department look forward to the graduation of 5 new officers from the Ocean County Police Academy in January of 2015 as the rebuilding process continues.
As the holidays approach, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office is once again conducting its Annual Toy Drive to help Ocean County families who are in need.
Those wishing to donate new toys are being asked not to wrap them. If possible, donations should be dropped off at a collection site by December 20th. All donations stay within the County and are provided to those families who need assistance.
A list of drop off locations throughout Ocean County to donated new and unwrapped toys can be found at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department website Home Page.
The drop off location established in Lacey Township is as follows:
Lacey Branch of the Ocean County Library
Forked River, New Jersey 08731
Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department has coordinated with the Lacey Township Police Department to facilitate the distribution of toys for Lacey residents on Monday, December 22, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lacey Township Police Headquarters. Lacey Township residents interested in applying to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department to participate in this program (i.e., receive a toy or toys) are asked to complete the Toy Drive Application Form and either email, fax or mail the completed form to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department.
You may click this link to open the form: Toy Drive Application Form
Please send the completed form via email to: OCSheriffRecruiter@co.ocean.nj.us
OR Fax to: 732-349-1909
OR mail the form to:
Ocean County Sheriff ‘s Office
P.O. Box 2191
Toms River, NJ 08754
Attention: Sgt. J. Schevlin
More information may be found at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department website.
The Lacey Township Police Department offers an online method for local business owners and/or managers to provide essential contact information related to their business. The police department often handles incidents after regular business hours which require a notification to a designated business contact. For the proper notifications to be made in a timely manner, this process requires that business owners or managers provide the police department with up-to-date contact information. Business owners and/or managers are asked to utilize this link: Business Contact Form to access the template and provide the requested information.
Secondhand Dealer Ordinance §161-1 et seq. passed on Thursday, November 13, 2014
As part of Lacey Township’s continuing effort to better protect and serve the public and limit the likelihood of victimization through burglaries and thefts, the township committee enacted a new ordinance related to pawn shops and precious metal dealers. Ordinance §161-1 et seq. now requires that local shops involved in purchasing pawned property or precious metals participate in an online system of immediately logging all items purchased by the shops for immediate access and inspection by the Lacey Township Police Department. Based on the new system, participating shops will be required to photograph the property, the seller, and the seller’s identification so the information can be uploaded to a specially designed online program that is searchable by police officials. The ordinance also requires that all property purchased by the pawn shop or precious metal dealers be held on site for at least 10 days. This expanded hold period allows victims the opportunity to recover stolen items before they are resold or sent off site to be melted down.
Over this past year, the Lacey Township Police Department has successfully solved several burglaries using the online system which has been in place for pawn shops in the Atlantic City area. Once the program is fully implemented in Lacey Township as required by the new ordinance, those intent upon selling stolen items will be quickly identified by the police department. Other municipalities throughout Ocean County, and eventually the entire state, will likely implement this system which will virtually eliminate the opportunity to quickly sell stolen items. Any secondhand dealer who violates the requirements of the new ordinance will lose their license to operate in Lacey Township.
Department News (Retirements) – Congratulations to Officer Joseph Soto and Special Officer Kenneth Martin on their September 1st, 2014, retirements from the Lacey Township Police Department. Officer Soto is known throughout the community for his charisma and outgoing personality which was most evident with his work with the schools and the youth of Lacey Township. Special Officer Kenneth Martin is well-known for his efforts to keep our township parks, businesses, and the schools safe for the youth of Lacey Township. Both officers will be missed by the police department and the community as a whole.
Also, good luck to Special Officer Jesse Urban and Special Officer Travis Horton who have both moved on in their careers. Special Officer Jesse Urban is now a full-time police officer in the Pine Beach Police Department while Special Officer Travis Horton has moved on to the Manalapan Township Police Department.
The retirement of Officer Joseph Soto marks the loss of 14 full-time police officers (not including special officers) from the Lacey Township Police Department in the past 4 1/2 years. The members of the Lacey Township Police Department look forward to the graduation of 5 new officers from the Ocean County Police Academy in January of 2015 as the rebuilding process continues.
Lacey Township Class II Special Officer Travis Horton (Certified Child Seat Technician) assisting a resident
Courtesy Child Seat Safety Inspections (Saturday, August 23, 2014) – The Lacey Township Police Department, with the assistance of members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and the Manchester Township Police Department, conducted courtesy child seat safety inspections for dozens of parents and grandparents. The event was held between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the Lanoka Harbor Fire Department building on Route 9 in Lanoka Harbor. Participants were provided information on the proper installation and use of child seats by specially trained and certified child seat technicians.
Municipal Alliance 5K Run - Congratulations to the officers of the Lacey Township Police Department who ran in the Municipal Alliance 5K Run at Gille Park this morning (Saturday, August 23, 2014). The officers included Brian Holt, Lieutenant Patrick Ganley, Patrick Watkins, Jason Lee, Anthony Sarno, Michael Hutman, Chris Meyler, Scott Keefe, and Charlie May. The five runner team of Anthony Sarno, Michael Hutman, Charlie May, Jason Lee and Patrick Watkins earned 2nd Place in the team event. Officer Charlie May and Officer Anthony Sarno finished 2nd overall in their respective age groups. Congrats to all!
Courtesy Child Seat Safety Inspection Event – The Lacey Township Police Department is hosting a courtesy (non-enforcement) Child Seat Safety Check at the Lanoka Harbor Fire House on Route 9 and Warren Avenue on Saturday, August 23, 2014. The event will be held rain or shine from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. with no pre-registration required. Specially trained certified child seat technicians from the Lacey Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department will be on site to conduct a courtesy inspection of installed seats and to assist participants in the proper installation of child seats.
The officers of the Lacey Township Police Department are dedicated to child safety. Over 80% of child safety currently installed in vehicles are either the wrong seats for the child being transported or are incorrectly installed. Technicians, dedicated to child safety, will assist not only in the inspection of the seats but will actually educate caregivers on the proper seat selection and installation.
Refreshments will be available as well as free handouts and activities for children while the seat inspections are conducted. The event is being hosted by the Lacey Township Police Department with assistance from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department. Inspections are expected to take approximately 15 minutes per vehicle. – Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
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(New officers from left: Jason S. Lee, Elton L. Copes II, [Chief of Police], Christopher M. Meyler, Brian G. Holt, Patrick Q. Watkins)
The Lacey Township Police Department welcomes 5 new officers who where appointed at last night’s (7-10-14) township meeting to attend the Ocean County Police Academy which begins on Monday, August 4, 2014. The appointment of the new officers is effective August 4th, as they will attend the police academy from August 4th, 2014, through January of 2015 before entering the police department’s field training program in the Spring of 2015. Each new officer is a Lacey Township resident and comes to the Lacey Township Police Department with military training and experience as well as formal educational credentials.
The new officers are as follows:
1. Jason S. Lee is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Jason served in both Iraq (2008 and 2009) and Afghanistan (2011) and attained the rank of Sergeant. Jason Lee is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Health Science from the American Military University. Jason is also completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Psychology at Richard Stockton College as well as a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from the American Military University.
2. Brian G. Holt is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Brian served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Brian Holt is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and earned the distinction of Eagle Scout before entering the Marine Corps. Brian earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and subsequently completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS).
3. Elton L. Copes II is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Elton served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of Specialist. Elton is a graduate of the Lakewood Township High School and has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Elton has served as a corrections officer with the Ocean County Correctional Facility since 2008.
4. Christopher M. Meyler is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Christopher served in Afghanistan (2010-2012) and was an Airborne Infantry Team Leader holding the rank of Specialist. Christopher is a graduate of Lacey Township High School where he was an accomplished athlete. Christopher Meyler is currently attending Ocean County College earning an Associate’s Degree.
5. Patrick Q. Watkins is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Patrick served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq (2005 into 2006 as well as 2007) where he served as a team leader, attained the rank of Corporal, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Patrick has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Patrick has been serving as a federal corrections officer where he has served for the past 5 years.
The new officers will be a welcomed and needed addition to the uniformed patrol force when they graduate the police academy next spring. The police department has experienced the attrition of 14 full-time officers over the past 5 years. These new officers along with the 5 officers who were hired in 2013 will help in adequately staffing the 24/7 function of the uniformed patrol division of the police department.