Police Academy Graduation – The five new police officers who were hired this past July graduated as part of the 99th Class of the Ocean County Police Academy in a ceremony held at Georgian Court University in Lakewood on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. The officers include: Jason S. Lee, Elton L. Copes II, Christopher M. Meyler, Brian G. Holt, and Patrick Q. Watkins. The officers completed the 22 week academy and will now enter the Lacey Township Police Department formal field training program. Each new officer has been assigned a field training officer to continue training for another 12 weeks. Each field training officer will work directly with a new officer to properly integrate the officer into the police department with a focus on relating the academy curriculum to practical application in the field.
The Lacey Township Police Department has experienced the loss of 15 fulltime officers over the past 5 1/2 years due to attrition. The 5 new graduates along with the 5 new officers hired in 2013 are an integral part of an incremental rebuilding process which requires time and considerable training of personnel. All members of the Lacey Township Police Department will be engaging in considerable training throughout 2015 to ensure the residents of Lacey Township are provided the best service possible.
Photograph of officers from the left: Patrick Q. Watkins, Elton L. Copes, Brian G. Holt, Jason S. Lee, and Christopher M. Meyler)
Lacey Municipal Police Foundation – As Chief of the Lacey Township Police Department, I am proud to announce the formation of a non-profit foundation designed to serve as an integral part of the concerted effort department members are making to better serve the community. Unfortunately, positive efforts are often hampered by the very limited resources available on an annual basis through the municipal budget. The Lacey Municipal Police Foundation will allow for private funds to be utilized to support community-based programs. The application for 501(c)(3) status has been submitted and is currently under federal review. The Lacey Municipal Police Foundation will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable mechanism for bringing the police department even closer to the community we serve each day.
The primary mission of the foundation is to engage the youth of Lacey Township with an emphasis on positive alternatives to drug and alcohol usage. The members of the police department look forward to developing and administering exciting programs for the youth of Lacey Township during 2015, 2016, and beyond.
The first step in an effort to raise funds has been taken through the placement of clothing collection bins at six locations throughout Lacey Township. The clothing bins will provide a source of recurring annual funding to help support programs run through the foundation. In addition to the bins, donations and fundraising activities will be necessary as we move forward. The bins are conspicuously marked with the Lacey Municipal Police Foundation emblem and are at the following locations:
Community Hall (Rt. 9 & Lacey Road, Forked River)
Mill Pond Basketball Court (Parker Avenue, Forked River)
Gille Park Tennis Courts (Western Blvd., Lanoka Harbor)
Hebrew Park (South Street, Lanoka Harbor)
Huffy Wallis Park (Parkside Drive & Whitcomb Road, Forked River)
Clune Park (Chesapeake Drive, Forked River)
Community members can help support the foundation by using the bins to donate unwanted clothing and shoes. Absolutely nothing may be left (dumped) outside the bins. Any items left outside the bins must be treated as illegal dumping and will be discarded.
The Lacey Municipal Police Foundation is a volunteer-based organization, allowing for the funds collected to be used to directly support community programs. As the process of advancing the foundation progresses and specific programs are announced, I will be seeking volunteers to work with department members as needed. This is an exciting time, as both the new and senior members of the police department are looking forward to working with residents and the youth of Lacey Township to make Lacey an even better community.
Any questions regarding the Lacey Municipal Police Foundation may be submitted to me via email through ChiefPaprota@LaceyTownship.org.
- Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
NYPD Funeral Detail – Officers John Simonson, Dimitri Tsarnas, Michael Hein and Jason Lee represented the Lacey Township Police Department at the funeral services in Queens, New York, for assassinated NYPD Police Officer Rafael Ramos. The Lacey Township officers joined over 30,000 police officers who filled the streets to honor and remember Officer Ramos as well as Officer Wenjian Liu who were brutally assassinated as they sat in a marked patrol vehicle on Saturday, December 20th, 2014. The Lacey Township police officers, as members of the Lacey Township Police Department Honor Guard, stood proudly among tens of thousands of uniformed officers from throughout the country and Canada who came together in solidarity on the streets of New York.
Ocean County law enforcement was well represented at the funeral, as a large contingent of officers from throughout Ocean County assembled at the NJSP Pleasant Plains barracks during the early morning hours and proceeded to the city as one group.
We all stand in solidarity with the NYPD during this very difficult time.
- Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
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.
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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.