CLARK, NJ – Thomas Balsamo was sworn in as the newest member of the Clark Police Department at Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Balsamo was welcomed to the department by Mayor Sal Bonaccorso and Police Chief Pedro Matos.
“It’s nice to see a young man who has made that decision to dedicate his life in service to others,” Chief Matos said of Balsamo, who will wear badge #191 and will begin police academy training next week.
According to Matos, though Balsamo had been in close competition with four other applicants for the position, the choice was clear. “In the end, we all felt that you were the right fit and the right person for this job,” said Matos.
Matos also prepared Balsamo for the challenges he will face in his career. “There will be stressful times, there will be challenging times, I assure you of that, but in the end, when you go home, I assure you you’re going to stand proud of the decision you made here today.” Mayor Bonaccorso then swore Balsamo in as his family stood by his side.
Both Matos and Bonaccorso shared well-wishes for Balsamo as he begins his role with the department. “We’re happy to have you, welcome aboard,” said Bonaccorso. “I look forward to working with you. I wish you all the best in your career,” added Matos.
As a police officer, Balsamo is following in the footsteps of his grandmother, who was the first female police officer in Chatham. After graduating high school, Balsamo attended Raritan Valley College, receiving an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Education from Kean University.
Balsamo grew up in Berkeley Heights, and Mayor Bonaccorso alluded to the friendly rivalry between the two towns during the swearing in. “What I like about him is he’s from Berkeley Heights, and as the Johnson Crusaders we like plucking Highlanders out of Berkeley Heights,” Bonaccorso joked.