Berkeley To Have New Police Chief

Archived Photo Pre-Covid pandemic - Berkeley Police Chief Karin DiMichele and Mayor Carmen Amato welcomed new officers. (Photo courtesy Berkeley Township)

  BERKELEY – Police Chief Karin DiMichele’s last day with Berkeley Township is today, April 30, and she will be replaced by Deputy Chief Kevin Santucci, officials reported.

  DiMichele posted her retirement for April 30. Santucci will be sworn in on May 1, Township Business Administrator John Camera confirmed.

  The Berkeley Times will have more coverage on this topic in future editions.

The following was posted on the Berkeley Township Police Facebook page this afternoon:

Mayor Carmen Amato and the Town Council bids farewell and happy retirement to Berkeley Township Police Chief Karin DiMichele.

After 26 years as an officer and 10 of those as the Chief, she leaves behind a list of accomplishments and firsts for Berkeley Township. Hired in 1995 as Berkeley’s first female officer, the Chief quickly rose through the ranks. Promoted to Sergeant in 2001, Chief DiMichele was assigned to the Patrol Division.

In 2005 she was promoted to Lieutenant. From there she was assigned to the Services Unit and embarked on the prestigious NJASACOP Accreditation Program for the agency. This was a long and arduous process which involved ensuring the agency follows best practices in all aspects. This achievement is only obtained by the most elite police departments in New Jersey. In 2009 Berkeley Township was awarded this accreditation and continues to maintain it today.

On August 1, 2011, then Lieutenant DiMichele made history when she was selected, after receiving the highest score in the state on the promotional examination, to be the new Police Chief. The new Administration was put to the test in 2012 when Super Storm Sandy hit the Township. The devastation this terrible storm brought us was indescribable.

New to their roles as Chief and Mayor, they worked tirelessly together to guide Berkeley Township through this tough time.

Berkeley Township was the first Department in the County and one of the first in the State to implement a body worn camera program. This innovation and foresight made Berkeley Township the leader in transparency at a time when this technology was in its infancy. Working with the Mayor and Council, Chief DiMichele led the department’s advancements by modernizing the reports and records section by completely digitizing reports and records allowing technology to assist and enhance the agency’s capabilities.

Karin T. DiMichele (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Chief and Mayor worked with both school districts and the local PBA, to be one of the first municipalities in the state to permanently deploy officers to each school in Berkeley Township for daily security. This occurred within weeks of the tragedy to ensure school children were safe and secure.

Other accomplishments during the Chief’s tenure include the implementation of the Special Police Officer Program and the implementation of the Township EMS Division. These additions are force multipliers and provide additional lifesavers and officers to our township.

The Chief proudly served as the president of the Ocean County Chiefs Association in 2017. She worked together with executives from many different agencies to develop best practices throughout the county. To combat the opioid epidemic, The Township, led by Chief DiMichele made it a priority to fight it head on. This included increased neighborhood meetings, NARCAN issued to officers, targeted education at the schools by the DARE officers and the “Not Even Once “program.

Berkeley Township also participated in “Project Medicine Drop” and was one of the first to have a permanent medicine drop box. These combined efforts have positively affected Berkeley Township and is an ongoing effort.

Lastly, during the ongoing COVID -19 crisis, Chief DiMichele ensured township employees and police personnel had the proper protective equipment to be safe and still provide all emergency services. Chief DiMichele can be proud of her tenure as she opens the next chapter of her life with her husband Tommy and two daughters Kelsey and Katelyn by her side.

Chief DiMichele would like to wish every officer and police employee well and would like to thank them for their commitment to their community and to the residents of Berkeley Township. The Chief reminds us that any accomplishment made during her tenure could not have been possible without the dedication and resourcefulness of the finest Police Officers in the finest Agency in the nation. The chief is proud to have been the leader of this great team! Be proud Chief and enjoy your retirement, you have earned it.“

On behalf of the Township Council, we want to thank Chief DiMichele for her years of dedication, service and leadership to the Township. It has been an honor to work with Chief DiMichele. We wish her and her family all the best in her well deserved retirement.” Mayor Amato said.

Deputy Chief Kevin Santucci will be sworn in tomorrow, Saturday May 1st to the position of Chief of Police for Berkeley Township.