July 17, 2014 at 4:00 AM
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Three homegrown residents were sworn in as police officers on Monday night at the council meeting in South Plainfield.
Police Chief James Parker swore in Jeffrey Heine, Zachary Melanson and Jasen Ortiz, who were all graduates of South Plainfield High School.
Heine, 37, spent 10 years in the New Jersey National Guard where he held the rank of Staff Sergeant, and is currently working as a manager for AMF Bowling Alley in Aberdeen.
Melanson, 22, is currently attending New Jersey City University where he majors in Criminal Justice. He has gained some experience with his current job as a part-time Communications Operator with the South Plainfield Police Department. He has two brothers, Shane and Justin, and Justin is currently employed as a police officer with the SPPD.
Ortiz, 28, was honorably discharged while holding the rank of E5 Sergeant after serving eight years in the United States Marine Corp. He completed two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and received numerous honors and awards including two Purple Hearts. Ortiz is currently attending Lincoln Technical Institute.
Parker offered some works of gratitude and encouragement for the newly sworn in police officers by wishing good luck to them and their families and promising to prepare them properly at the next level of their training.
Councilman Christopher Diana noted the officer’s positions in the community and went on to say that the South Plainfield community demonstrates why they have the best police department in New Jersey.
Councilman Derryck White added, “I think it says something that we can graduate students, and have them come back and serve your community in a civil service capacity.”
Mayor Matthew Anesh congratulated the three officers and told them that they chose “honorable careers”. Anesh also made sure that the officers understood that the governing body and the police force must work as a unit to serve the borough, and that they would assist in any way to make sure that common goal is reached.
Family and friends all joined together at the meeting to support the newly appointed officers and show their appreciation for the honorable service they will provide.