JACKSON – Police Chief Matthew Kunz thanked the governing body once again for allowing a promotion ceremony of four of his officers to begin a recent Township Council meeting.
The meeting featured friends and family who were in the audience to observe the swearing in of the officers to their new ranks.
Chief Kunz said the officers “assisted me with a little biography and some facts about themselves and after each introduction the Township Clerk Janice Kisty will administer the oath of office to each of our promoted officers.” Members of their families held the Bible.
Lt. John Convery #203 was promoted to the rank of Captain. Capt. Convery began his law enforcement career as a detention officer in Ocean County in 1987 and then became a New Jersey state probation officer in 1989 where he worked until being hired as a police officer in Jackson in 1997.
Convery worked as a patrol officer until being assigned to the department’s Special Services Division in 2005. He served as a DARE officer, domestic violence liaison officer for the agency, a member of the department’s Special Response Team, firearms instructor, trainer for the Elder Abuse Project and coordinates the National Night Out event for the Township.
He was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and then to lieutenant in 2015 and has received multiple awards during his career including the meritorious service award for his actions during a riot situation, unit citation, officer of the year and supervisor of the year.
Convery will be assigned as the Special Services Division Commander.
Detective Sergeant Francisco “Frank” Mendez #224 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Lt. Mendez began his law enforcement career as a police officer at Brookdale College in 1993 after serving in the United States Army where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge along with the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and National Defense Service Medal for his service in liberating Panama.
He then became a Class II SLEO in with the Keansburg Police Department in 1994 and was hired there as a full-time police officer in 1996. During his time with the Keansburg Police Department he worked as an undercover narcotics detective and was assigned to the Bayshore Narcotics Task Force.
Mendez was hired by the Jackson Police Department in 2001 and served as a patrol officer, advisor to the Explorer Post, member of the department’s Special Response Team and as a use of force instructor for the agency and at the Ocean County Police Academy.
He was assigned to the detective bureau in 2008 and promoted to sergeant in 2011 where he was assigned to supervise a patrol squad before returning to the detective bureau as a supervisor. He has received multiple awards including the unit citation, veteran’s ribbon, good conduct ribbon and was honored by the Ocean County 200 Club for responding to an incident with an armed emotionally disturbed person and taking the subject into custody without injury to anyone. Mendez will be assigned as Detective Lieutenant overseeing the detective bureau.
Police Officer Vincent Rubio #199 was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sgt. Rubio began his law enforcement career in 1996 when he was hired by the Jackson Police Department and graduated from the 193rd Municipal Class at the New Jersey State Police Academy in Sea Girt. He served as a patrol officer and then was assigned to the detective bureau from 2000-2007 before being assigned to the Special Services Division.
He is a firearms instructor and rangemaster for the Ocean County Police Academy and was a member of the department’s Special Response Team and is also the department’s range master and training coordinator. He instituted the department’s patrol rifle program and 2014 pistol upgrade and also oversees the agency’s vehicle fleet, uniforms, weapons and LESO/1033 program which has benefited the department with equipment and supplies from the federal government.
Rubio has received numerous letters of commendation and awards including the unit citation, good conduct ribbon and 9/11 responder. Sgt. Rubio will be assigned as a supervisor in the Special Services Division.
Detective Shawn Hobson #207 was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sgt. Hobson graduated from Rowan College with a BA in criminal justice and began his law enforcement career in 1997 when he was hired by the Jackson Police Department and graduated from Class #69 at the Ocean County Police Academy.
He served as a patrol officer before being assigned to the detective bureau in 2003 where he was responsible for Megan’s Law, the evidence room, forfeiture cases and crime scene investigation among other duties.
Hobson is an EVOC instructor for the agency and ATV operator and also served on the department’s Special Response Team. He has also headed the PBA golf outing for several years. He has received numerous awards including the good conduct ribbon, achievement ribbon and unit citations. He will be assigned as a Detective Sergeant.
Councilman Ken Bressi said, “every time we have these promotions, we recognize that we have the finest police department around and we hear the achievements of all these officers over the years you recognize how deserving they are of these promotions. I congratulate them all.”
“I want to congratulate the officers who were promoted this evening especially the guys who grew up here. You are a credit to our community and have certainly done Jackson proud,” Councilman Steve Chisholm said.
Councilman Martin Flemming added, “I also wish to send our congratulations to all our newly promoted officers and I wish them the best in their new ranks.”
Council Vice President Andrew Kern congratulated the new officers and also offered a “thank you to their families for allowing them to leave you every day so they can keep us safe may the Lord watch over and protect you always.”
“I also wish to extend my thanks and congratulations to our police department. It speaks volumes that three of the four have been life long residents of Jackson. Knowing two of them personally I can tell you they bring a lot of class and respect to the department,” Council President Alex Sauickie said.
“Echoing everybody’s comments made up here on the dais. I am very proud of the police officers promoted tonight. I know all four of them personally for quite some time and served with a few of them. It is a great honor to watch this police department grow. Congratulations and be safe,” Mayor Michael Reina added.
Investigations Division Commander Captain Steve Laskiewicz issued a statement from the department which stated congratulations to the officers on their promotions “and wish them the best in their assignments. We would also like to thank Mayor Reina, the Council Members and Township Administration for their support of the agency as the department grows and prepares to serve the demands of the growing township.”