BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Members of the Bernards Township Committee reminisced Tuesday about their experiences with Township Police Lt. Edward "Ted" Reese, who will retire on April 1 after 25 years with the department, before approving a resolution of commendation.
The following day, both Reese and Police Chief Brian Bobowicz reflected on their shared experiences during Reese's time on the Bernards Township force.
"We got to know him quite well during Hurricane Sandy," said Township Deputy Mayor Carolyn Gaziano, recalling that many officials "lived" in the lieutenant's office at police headquarters when town hall was out of power following the devastating storm in October 2012.
Township Committeeman John Malay also recalled "squatting" in Reese's office, which he said had heat and internet service, as police and elected officials, along with other emergency volunteers, planned their response to the blockage of many roads with fallen trees and the initial 100 percent loss of electricity after Sandy.
Within the department, Reese served as a patrol officer, field training officer/supervisor, senior rirearms instructor, patrol sergeant, patrol lieutenant, community policing lieutenant, detective lieutenant and traffic services lieutenant for Bernards Township’s residents, visitors, and his fellow township employees "in an exemplary way," the resolution said.
Township officials said he had always been available to help with traffic control during special events.
Reese was also a member and leader in the Somerset County SWAT team, Township Committeeman John Carpenter pointed out.
Malay recalled when "Ted held me hostage" during a simulated SWAT incident at a local park.
Reese also professionally served as a Somerset County Police Academy instructor, Somerset County rirearms instructor, Interagency Anti-Crime Task Force Project Leader, Somerset County Organized Crime & Narcotics Task Force investigator for two tours and as a member of the Somerset County SCERT/SWAT Team in the capacities of team member, point man, Assistant Team Leader, Team Leader and Deputy Commander, according to the resolution. The resolution said Reese had represented himself and the township police department "in an exemplary way" on the county and regional level.
"You have given generously of your time and efforts in a dignified, faithful, selfless and professional manner...for the past 25 years," the resolution said, offering congratulations to Reese.
The resolution added that the lieutenant had contributed towards the development, communal welfare, safety and quality of life in the township.
Reese was not present at the meeting; he will be given a final "walk-through" the day before his retirement is official, said Township Committee members.