Lacey Promotes Three To Sergeant

(Photo courtesy of The Lacey Reporter/Gavin Rozzi)

LACEY – Three police officers ‑‑ Robert Flynn, Robert Surtees, and Michael Eden ‑‑ were promoted to sergeant at the recent Township Committee meeting.

The back and sides of the meeting room were lined with police and sheriff’s department officers. Chief Michael DiBella and Captain Patrick Ganley spoke about the officers’ accomplishment, not without a little friendly teasing.

Police Officer Robert Flynn being sworn in to the position of police sergeant. (Photo courtesy of Lacey Police)

Flynn has worked in the department for 16 years, DiBella said. For the last two, he was working as an acting sergeant anyway.

His background involves education at Penn State University and Seton Hall University, and eight years in the Army Reserves. Some of his duties have involved car seats and traffic safety. He is on the Fatal Accident Support Team, which responds to serious car crashes, for Lacey and the county.

“He is the only officer that is an accredited traffic accident reconstructionist” in the county, he said. There are only a few in the entire state. He is a member of the Ocean County Police Traffic Safety Officer’s Association, teaches defensive driving and is a drug recognition expert. He will continue to serve as a patrol supervisor/shift commander.

He is married with three children.

Police Detective Robert Surtees being sworn in to the position of police sergeant. (Photo courtesy of Lacey Police)

“Detective Surtees went above and beyond” in his assignment to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force to help with the widespread opiate epidemic, DiBella said.

He has 17 years’ experience in the police force. He spent eight years in the patrol division before being transferred to the detective bureau.

He had served in the Marines for 11 years, and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, serving in Kosovo, Africa and Iraq. He will serve as a patrol supervisor/shift commander.

He is married with two children.

Captain Ganley spoke about Eden, because they had graduated high school together and came up through the academy together. “He truly does put his heart and soul into the community,” he said.

Police Detective Michael Eden alongside family after he was sworn in as sergeant. (Photo courtesy of Lacey Police)

Besides police work, Eden is a member of the Forked River and Bamber Lakes fire departments, Lacey Township Dive Team, and a deputy Fire Warden for the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Ganley told one story about Eden saving the life of a pregnant woman in 2013 from a structure fire in Lacey. For that, he received the Valor Award and the Lifesaving Award.

A majority of his 23-year career has been in the patrol division. In 2016, he was assigned to the Internal Affairs and Professional Standards Unit. Eden is a firearms instructor and serves as an assistant training officer.

He is married with three children.

DiBella thanked the Township Committee and Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh for their support of the police department. He noted how much work goes into getting promoted. As a civil service job, officers have to take tests to be promoted. This involves months of studying, on top of your regular shift and family commitments.

Members of the governing body thanked the officers for their hard work and service. Some of them noted how much time away from their families that this job entails, and thanked the families for making the sacrifice.