Ceremony Highlights Department’s Top Cops

Christine Geskey is Toms River’s newest officer. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

TOMS RIVER – A new officer joined, two retired, and several were recognized for their service during a recent police ceremony. Police Chief Mitch Little presented the officers during a recent Township Council meeting.

The new officer, Christine Geskey, comes to Toms River by way of the armed services. She was enlisted in the Air Force, where she was trained as an Airborne Linguist in the Arabic language, later serving as a C-17 instructor loadmaster. She won several distinctions, including the 2009 Airman of the Year Award. After nine years and 2,500 flight hours, she left the military as a Staff Sergeant. She worked for the Ocean County Department of Corrections, receiving the Firearms Award for marksmanship.

Officers Shan Ruiz and Joshua Kuhlwein were honored for handling an individual attempting “suicide by cop.” (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)

Patrol Officer Andrew Chencharik was promoted to detective. The 1997 Toms River East graduate studied sociology at Rutgers University and Western Maryland College. He joined Toms River police in 2005. He earned several awards for his work in the department, and most recently worked in narcotic investigations.

Two officers were given Class B Awards for their handling of a person wanting to commit “suicide by cop.” Officers Shan Ruiz and Joshua Kuhlwein responded to a suspicious person call in the area of Sand Creek Lane and Christian Court on Oct. 16, 2016. The person in question pulled what appeared to be a black weapon from his waistband and pointed it at them. The two officers were commended “for taking immediate action by discharging their duty weapons, neutralizing the threat, and taking control of a highly volatile scene.”

Andrew Chencharik is sworn in as a detective. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)

In a separate case, Officer Michael Foy was given the Class C Award for his handling of a case on Aug. 4, 2017. He responded to a mental health call where a 46-year-old Snyder Street resident was threatening to kill herself with a butcher knife. He struck her arm once with his flashlight, making her drop the weapon. He was then able to bring her in to be evaluated and get psychological services.

The Life Saving Award was given to Officer Ryan Fitzgerald for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim in Red Lobster on Nov. 4, 2017.

Additionally, two officers were honored upon their retirement: Cpl. Dennis Mansfield and Detective Thomas DiMichele.

Officer Ryan Fitzgerald was honored for saving a choking victim. (Photo courtesy Toms River Township)