Honoring A Retirement, Welcoming A New Face

The township council and police chief led a special ceremony for the retirement of Patrolman DJ Unger. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Township)

TOMS RIVER – Describing it as bittersweet, Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little helped honor one patrolman as he entered retirement after a severe hand injury, and helped welcome a new patrolman to the force, at the recent Toms River Council Meeting.

Patrolman DJ Unger was honored, surrounded by Little and council members. Unger retired after receiving a debilitating hand injury responding to an incident with an emotionally disturbed person, said the police chief.

Little spoke with pride of Unger’s 15 years of service, which included working the midnight shift. His engraved clock was presented with the hands at 10:10, “because that means service is complete,” Little said to crowd applause.

In his biography read as part of the retirement ceremony, Unger is a Toms River High School South graduate who also earned bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and communications from Stockton.

Unger, badge #321, was an active participant in several of the department’s charitable endeavors, such as the Police Athletic League, where he helped create several sports camps that reached out to many at risk children in the community.

Little commended Unger’s work on the force, during which he became certified as an EMT and later assisted with the restructuring of the department’s evidence room: “Patrolman Unger prided himself on being a ‘midnight guy’ who viewed the camaraderie of that shift as being unique. In retirement, Patrolman Unger will concentrate on his family, children and friend and will look to begin a new chapter in his life.”

The appointment of Patrolman Garret Henshaw was also celebrated. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Township)

New Patrolman Welcomed

Little thanked the township for quickly pursuing an applicant to fill the vacancy created by Unger’s retirement.

Officer Garret Henshaw was sworn in to the patrolman position at the same council meeting. Henshaw was surrounded by a crowd of family, his girlfriend and supporters as Council President Al Manforti led the oath with Henshaw swearing on the township Bible.

Henshaw, badge #427, has been an EMT for the past eight years volunteering for both Norwood EMT and Waretown First Aid Squad where he served as both a Sergeant and Vice President.

A Waretown resident, Henshaw has also served as a lifeguard in Seaside Heights since 2012 and worked as a junior lifeguard counselor. He is currently attending the Atlantic County Police Training Academy in South Jersey.