TOMS RIVER – For the third year in a row, the Ocean County Chiefs of Police Public Safety Cadet Unit No. 1 has been named the top over unit at the fourth annual New Jersey State Youth Law Enforcement Competition held at Stockton University May 31 to June 2. More than 100 cadets and explorers from numerous units participated.
Some of those cadets and explorers from Unit No. 1 were on hand to be recognized at a recent meeting of the Ocean County Freeholders.
“I want to thank you all for recognizing how hard these kids are working, but also want to thank the families and friends who put the time in driving them to all our events and following up and making sure their uniforms are ready. We couldn’t do this without the families,” Ocean County Sheriff’s Officer Christine Farrell said. “These kids have worked tremendously hard.”
Several of the program members have already been picked up as full-time police officers, SLEO I and II officers, and dispatchers.
“So the success of this program isn’t just the competitions and the community service projects, it’s the actual success that these kids are doing in their lives,” Farrell added.
Some municipalities run their own cadet programs. The county-side program was started to fill in the gaps for those towns that don’t have a program, but have students ages 14-21 who are interested in exploring law enforcement careers.
This year at the competition, the cadets placed
- Second, drill team
- Second, burglary in progress response
- First, shoot/don’t shoot
- Second, arrest, search and seizure response
- Third, arrest, search and seizure response
- First, domestic violence response
- Second, domestic violence response
“We thank you and those that are working with you,” Freeholder John Kelly said, the director of law and public safety. “The job you’re doing is so great… You’re doing something right to work with the families and with the cadets and we appreciate everything.”
Public Safety Cadets is a national nonprofit organization “founded and managed by active and retired law enforcement officers and business leaders dedicated to preparing young adults…for careers and leadership in the public safety profession,” according to the organization’s website. “Although formed with a law enforcement centric career focus, there is a view for future development of other public safety career sectors to include Fire-Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, Corrections, Cyber and Forensic Sciences as well as Critical Incident Management.”
The cadets are Capt. Christopher Ambrosio, Lt. Ryan Cassan, Lt. Timothy Swain, Sgt. Daniel Rosengarth, Alexis Smith, Anna Turner, Aristotle Mattaraza, Brie Zonin, Christopher Beals, Christopher Triano, Connor Gordon, Damian Morrone, Eric Luna, Gina Matteo, Gracie Preslar, Isabel Andrews, Jacob Leonard, Joseph Turner, Justin Moore, Matthew Gatto, Matthew Pelcher, Nick Zbikowski, Quinn Baumgarten, Sean Ferguson, and Sierra Baker.
The mentors, including Farrell and Jarin, are Ocean County Sheriff’s Officer Tyler Walsh and Lacey Township officers Charles May and Dan Ricciardella.