BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ The Bernards police department is back to full staffing with 38 officers after two young patrol officers, James (JD) Moore, a 2012 graduate of Ridge High School, and Ryan Caparoni, a graduate of the Morris County Academy, were sworn at Tuesday's Township Committee meeting.

The young officers represent the future of the department, Mayor John Carpenter noted after the swearing in ceremony, during which Moore and Caparoni were surrounded by family members.

The police department had been searching for new officers following the departures of two veteran officers in the past few months. Detective Bill Seiple left the department this spring to join the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and longtime Patrol Officer Henry "Hank" Werner retired in June.

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Moore, 23, and Caparoni, 25, were publicly introduced by Police Chief Michael Shimsky. Shimsky himself had been promoted to the position of the department's chief just this year, following the retirement of previous Police Chief Brian Bobowicz at the end of 2017.

"We are excited to welcome Ryan and JD to our family," Shimsky said in an email on Thursday. "They will be a great fit for the police department and serve the residents of the township well. We look forward to their many years here."

At the July 24 meeting, Shimsky said that Caparoni is a 2011 graduate of Roxbury High School in Morris County, and earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 2015 from Centenary College. Caparoni was a varsity baseball player at Centenary, where he was selected as Male Athlete of the Year for 2015, the chief said.

Caparoni is a graduate of the Morris County Police Academy. He was employed as a police officer in Mount Arlington for two years, Shimsky said.

Ridge grad was awarded local PBA scholarship

Shimsky said Moore, a township resident, was awarded a local PBA scholarship in 2012, the year he graduated from Ridge High School. Moore is a 2016 graduate of the University of Delaware, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice, his resume says. He is also a graduate of the Passaic County Police Academy.

Moore was a student athlete at Ridge, where he played basketball, baseball and football.

As per the township police contract, the first salary step for new officers is $49,992, according to township figures.