MANCHESTER – Three new members of the Township Police Department took the oath of office recently while others were promoted and honored for their service.
The Police Department welcomed patrol officers Chris Kimbiz, Taylor Schandall, and Michael Sullivan to their ranks. They were sworn in by Mayor Robert Arace in the presence of family, friends, police, and township personnel.
“These are all vacancies we have in the police department not new appointments. We had some retirements,” Chief Robert Dolan said.
The ceremony also featured the promotions of several patrol officers. Joseph Reilly was promoted to sergeant and there were the moves of Patrolmen Conner Yatauro to the Traffic Safety Section and Jesse Tate and Michael Gardner to the detective bureau.
The ceremony also included the presentation of the Corporal distinction to veteran officer Michael Terranova.
Chief Dolan said, “when selecting individuals for any position within the Manchester Township Police Department, whether they be Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Detective, Traffic Safety or Corporal, our residents can rest assured that only top-tier candidates represent our agency.”
Reilly, who is in his 11th year as an officer of the department, took the oath of office first. He served in the United States Marine Corps and as a Military Police Officer with service in Iraq and Japan and has been a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, Youth Police Academy Instructor, member of the Honor Guard, and sniper with Ocean County Regional SWAT since being sworn in to the department.
He also is a Physical Fitness Instructor and Firearms Instructor at the Ocean County Police Academy. Sgt. Reilly holds a master’s degree from Farleigh Dickinson University and has received the Chief’s Award, Life Saving Award, and two Chief’s Recognition Awards, among others.
Next to take the oath of office was Officer Kimbiz, a 25-year-old Brick Township High School graduate who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University. He began his law enforcement career in 2020 when he was sponsored by the Seaside Heights Police Department to attend the Ocean County Police Academy for Class II officers.
He graduated in April 2021 and began serving as a Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO II). After a successful summer season, Kimbiz was chosen by Seaside Heights to continue working into the fall and winter months, which is reserved for only the SLEO II officers with exceptional work ethic and willingness to learn.
Schandall, a 21-year-old Colts Neck High School graduate took the oath of office next. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Farleigh Dickinson University. Officer Schandall was sponsored by the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department to attend Ocean County Police Academy in May 2021.
After a successful summer season, she continued working with the Department into the fall and winter months and was hired by the South Bound Brook Police Department as a full-time officer in June 2022, where she was recognized for her remarkable job performance.
Last to be sworn into office was Officer Sullivan, a 24-year-old lifelong Manchester resident who graduated from Manchester Township High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Farleigh Dickinson University.
Sullivan is a former Class II officer in Seaside Heights. He graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy in 2022 and was hired by the Lakehurst Police Department as a part time officer in June 2022. He came highly recommended for his exceptional work performance.
Chief Dolan explained that the intensive department hiring process for the position of patrol officer began in July of 2021, when approximately 100 individuals submitted their applications for employment.
He explained that during the first phase, applicants participated in the Physical Agility Examination held at the Manchester Township High School. This test consisted of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and a one-mile run.
Those who passed, advanced to the boxing component. Applicants who successfully completed all phases of the physical exam, went on to participate in the Written Examination. From there, the top scorers went before the Oral Review Board for interviews.
Those candidates considered for employment subsequently underwent a thorough background investigation and submitted to medical, psychological, and drug screenings.
The Chief added, “only those individuals who are truly dedicated to excelling in the service of their community can successfully navigate the process. They will serve the residents of our community with honor and integrity.”
The ceremony also included the lateral move of Patrol Officer Yatauro, a six-year veteran who has completed extensive training in crash investigations, to the Traffic Safety Section. Patrolman Yatauro is also a Child Safety Seat Technician and instructor for Emergency Vehicle Operators.
Patrol Officers Tate and Gardner were selected for assignment to the Narcotics Enforcement Team as detectives.
Tate, a five-year veteran, has served as a Field Training Officer, as a Drone Operator and has participated in numerous narcotics investigations prior to his new assignment.
Gardner joined the Township Police Department in 2019 and consistently displayed an interest in narcotics-related investigations, leading to a number of seizures of drugs, vehicles, and currency.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Officer Terranova was honored with the Corporal designation, a distinction which was instituted in 2015 after being proposed by the late Cpl. Scott Thompson, who was its first recipient, posthumously.
The distinction recognizes excellent officers with 20 or more years of service who exhibit outstanding commitment to their department and profession.