NEWTON, NJ—With the retirement of Chief Michael Richards and Lt. Mark Zappa this year, Town Manager Thomas S. Russo Jr. announced promotions that will largely restructure the department. 

Russo announced current Lt. Robert Osborn began acting provisional chief of police as of  Monday, December 9, pending the formal retirement of Richards. Richards will be on leave until the time of his formal retirement.

Until a State Civil Service test is given to Osborn, likely in July, he will be in office provisionally. Osborn’s promotion came with another half a dozen changes that went into effect on Monday as well.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Sgt. Michael Monaco is being promoted to Lieutenant and Patrolman Michael Wolanski is being promoted to Sergeant.

When Zappa retires on February 1, 2020, a few more changes and promotions within the department will occur.

Detective Sgt. Steven Van Nieuwland will then be promoted to Lieutenant, Patrolman Joseph D’Annibale will be promoted to Sergeant and Sgt. Thomas Muller will become Detective Sergeant in the Detective Bureau.

Detective Daniel Finkle will remain in the Detective Bureau and Patrolman Russell Post will become a Detective within the Detective Bureau.

According to Russo, the town is in the process of reviewing the police officer Civil Service list for two new hires as well.

The official swearing in of the new officers will take place during the January and February council meetings in 2020.