Two New Lieutenants As Officers Retire In Brick

Current officers, and retired ones, came out to support the promoted officers, alongside the governing body. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – In a swearing-in ceremony held at a recent Township Council meeting, Police Chief James Riccio promoted two sergeants to lieutenants, which became necessary after Lieutenant Robert Hine and Lieutenant Mike Zolezi retired at the end of 2018.

  Riccio read brief introductions of each newly promoted lieutenant, who were sworn in by Mayor John G. Ducey in front of a standing-room-only crowd of current and retired Brick police officers.

  Lieutenant Joseph Oliveri was hired in January 1995 and worked the 4 p.m. to 12 p.m. and the midnight shift until 2001.

  During that time, Lieutenant Oliveri served as a field training officer for 17 new officers, Riccio said.

  From 2001 until 2005 he was assigned to the Professional Standards Unit where his duties included background investigations, training and policy development.

  In 2005, Lieutenant Oliveri was assigned to the detective bureau where he investigated computer crimes and auto thefts. He completed a one-year assignment with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office in the Computer Crimes Unit and participated in the Catch a Predator Operation, said the police chief.

  He returned to the patrol division in 2011, working the midnight and day shifts, until being promoted to sergeant in 2014. He served as a squad supervisor on the midnight shift until being transferred to the Administrative Services Division in 2015.

  While in the Administrative Services Division, Lieutenant Oliveri supervised fleet maintenance, radio repair and communication units.      

  Lieutenant Oliveri has been the recipient of numerous Chief Certificates and citations including lifesaving awards, Meritorious Service, Grand Cordon, unit citations, Honorable Service Award and the Lieutenant Thomas McNelis Award, Riccio said.

  He has also been active in the Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Lieutenant Oliveri will be assigned to the Administrative Services Division and serve as the Deputy Division Commander.

  The second promotion was Lieutenant Neal Pedersen, who was hired by the Brick Police Department in August 1996 after graduating from the NJ State Police Academy. He was assigned to the patrol division where he worked all three shifts and worked as a field training officer.

Police Chief James Riccio, left, watches as Mayor John Ducey swears in Lt. Joseph Oliveri, who is accompanied by his family. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  He was an active participant in the Marine Unit and Honor Guard, Riccio said.

  In 2007, Lieutenant Pedersen was promoted to sergeant and was assigned to the patrol division and was a squad supervisor. In 2015, he was assigned to the Community Policing Division and served as the Public Information and Media Relations Officer, Traffic Safety Supervisor and as the EMS Unit Supervisor.

  Lieutenant Pedersen has received an Exceptional Duty Award, Grand Cordon and two lifesaving awards, Riccio said. He will assume the position of a shift commander.

  After the two officers were sworn in, the police chief said that due to additional police retirements, the Police Department will be hiring six new officers, who are currently undergoing background checks.

  Riccio thanked Mayor John G. Ducey, Business Administrator Joanne Bergin and the governing body for being “constantly and routinely being supportive of our department, and making sure that we are property staffed and properly equipped.”

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Judy moved to Ocean County from New York City in 1988, and began her second career as a feature and news reporter in the mid-1990's. She has worked for Micromedia Publications since 2008, primarily reporting for The Toms River Times and The Brick Times. Judy has also worked for The Leader Review in Point Pleasant Beach, The Brick Communicator and The Asbury Park Press. Reach Judy by e-mail at Judysmestadnunn@gmail.com.