BARNEGAT – During his long tenure as a civilian at the Barnegat Police Department, Kristopher Burke found his calling.
Burke started at the department in 2007 as a dispatcher. After the department transitioned to county dispatch in 2016, Burke moved into a position as a confidential aid and administrative assistant to the chief. Here, Burke was able to put his “genius with computers” and IT skills to good use.
“That was important at the time because all of our records were on paper,” said Deputy Mayor John Novak. Burke’s IT expertise helped the department to transition to paperless record-keeping more seamlessly.
Burke was the only civilian working in the department, alongside over 40 officers on the force. After a few years working as an administrative assistant to the chief, he made the leap to becoming an officer himself.
“Kris lives here in town, he raises his family here in town, he goes to church here in town and he wanted to be a police officer here in town,” said Novak.
Novak noted that Burke didn’t even apply to any other police departments in the area. “He didn’t want to just be a police officer, he wanted to be a police officer for Barnegat,” he added.
Burke graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy on March 6, earning the High Academic Award and an award for a perfect score on the pistol qualification course. Burke earned top marks in every area, ranking number one on the department’s entrance test on the written test, physical test, and interview portions.
Burke is now a Patrolman for the Barnegat Police Department, completing the agency’s 10 week Field Training Program.
The township committee honored Burke for his achievements and congratulated him on his journey to Patrolman at the April 2 meeting.