BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Police Captain Al Nicaretta was sworn in as the sixth ever police chief for the Bridgewater Township Police Department at a special ceremony Wednesday.

“I pledge to do my best to continue to move this police department in a positive direction,” Nicaretta said during the ceremony. “I understand what is expected of me as the chief of police, and I will continue to strive to meet the needs of the community and the needs of the members of the Bridgewater Police Department.”

Nicaretta had served as the acting chief following the retirement of former chief Manuel Caravella in October.

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After the application process, Nicaretta was appointed as the new chief at the January Township Council reorganization meeting, and the ceremony was held to administer the oath of office.

“One of the most exciting things I get to do as mayor is swearing people in,” Mayor Dan Hayes said before administering the oath of office to Nicaretta. “I appreciate when someone takes on the mantle as you are today.”

Nicaretta was hired to the department in 1989 as part of the patrol division. He was promoted to sergeant in 2003, and then made supervisor of criminal investigations in 2007.

In 2008, Nicaretta was appointed as lieutenant, and then promoted to captain in 2013.

“He has received numerous awards and commendations, including a Life Saving Medal,” Hayes said. “I want to congratulate him on an incredible career to date, and thank him for accepting the position.”

Nicaretta said he understands that there are a number of responsibilities as chief, including to the residents of Bridgewater, the visitors in Bridgewater and the men and women in the Bridgewater Township Police Department.

“When I started my career in 1989, I never had any expectations of being the chief of police, and that held true throughout my career,” he said. “Well, here I am with 27 years of service on the job, holding the rank of chief.”

Nicaretta said he would like to see change within the department in a positive way.

“Change is coming whether we like it or not,” he said. “It’s inevitable, things always change.”

“My challenge to you is to change the things you have control over in a positive way, and I will do the same,” he added.

To the members of the department, Nicaretta said, he pledges to support and defend them, and see they are the most properly trained, best equipped and best supervised department in the county. And what he expects in return, he said, is commitment, compassion, competence, integrity, courage and respect for the department, residents and themselves.

“I expect you to perform your job without hesitation, to the best of your ability,” he said. “Don’t get caught up in the politics of policing. Know that everything that happens happens for a reason, to better the police department. Stay committed to the police profession, the profession that you have chosen and are obligated to live up to.”

“If each of you can commit to this, I will support you to the end,” he added.

To the leadership of the department, Nicaretta thanked them for their work and promised to empower them to continue to become outstanding leaders.

And to the residents, Nicaretta said, he will provide an accessible and professional police department that it sensitive to their needs.

“Know that when you call for help, a highly trained police officer will be there to help you,” he said. “Know that we are there for you 24/7, rain or shine, providing you with the highest quality of police service available.”

Nicaretta said he just asks the residents for patience and understanding.

“At times we do make mistakes, but most of those mistakes are fixable,” he said. “Please have the patience and understanding to let us do our jobs.”

“We are the members of the Bridgewater Township Police Department, and we are dedicated to service, committed to community,” he added.

Check out the February issue of The BReeze, coming in just a few weeks, for a full article introducing new Bridgewater Township Police Chief Al Nicaretta.