The Berkeley Heights Police Department is pleased to announce the hiring of three new police officers. Probationary Patrol Officers Natalie Santillo, Anthony Triguero, and Pooja Patel began their service to the township on March 1st, 2021 after a competitive interview process, background investigation, and fitness-for-duty testing.

“We were extremely impressed with the credentials of the candidates we interviewed,” Chief Jason Massimino said. “Through a highly-competitive process, we gained consensus from the command staff that these three candidates set themselves apart. They each bring unique experiences, educational achievements, and perspectives that will be extremely valuable to serving our community going forward.”

Natalie Santillo began her law enforcement career in 2017 with the Union County Sheriff’s Office, where she was assigned to criminal courts and also as a recruit physical training instructor at the John. H Stamler Police Academy. Prior to her academy training, Natalie earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and Sport Studies from William Paterson University. She holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Anthony Triguero began his law enforcement career in 2019 as a Patrol Officer with the Elizabeth, NJ Police Department after having worked there prior as a Communications Officer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Nutrition from Montclair State University and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree. Anthony also trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Pooja Patel began her law enforcement career in 2018 with the Kean University Police Department before transferring to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. She worked patrol at Kean and had patrol, administrative, and court duties with the Sheriff’s Office. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Kean University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree. Officer Patel also serves her country as an active member of the Army National Guard.

“In order to attract candidates such as these, all of whom made the difficult decision to leave respected law enforcement agencies and choose Berkeley Heights, our department must continue to be a great place to work. We have been able to achieve that due to our vision of consistent, robust employee training, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and most importantly, support from the community that we serve.”