SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano swore in new officers and presented awards to both officers and civilians during a ceremony held at the county’s historic courthouse.
Provenzano asked for a moment of silence to open the ceremony, “for our fallen brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice and the brave men and women in the armed forces putting their lives on the line every day to keep America safe.”
He also extended thanks to his officers and staff.
“I’m sure any successful person would tell you that they could not build an organization by themselves," Provenzano said. “It takes teamwork and buy-in by the employees and I believe that without that buy-in we would not have a K-9 Unit, Project Lifesaver Program, unwanted-medications collection, HERO designated-driver program, Special Response Team, Gang Unit, senior safety program, school resource officer at the Vo-Tech High School working with our children, weekend inmate work detail, child seat installation and safety programs, Sheriff’s Color Guard, Adopt-A-Road Program, a new Project Lifesaver search-and-rescue drone, and our annual Toys 4 Tots collection.”
Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Miller swore in the following new and promoted officers:
PROMOTIONS - CORRECTIONS DIVISION
Capt. Frank Apisa of Branchburg – A 24-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, he currently heads the Office of Professional Standards and the Investigation Unit of the jail. He also is the leader of the Somerset County Jail Gang Unit and has been involved in investigating gangs within the Somerset County Jail since 2005.
Lt. Dean Picone of Washington – He has been with the Corrections Division for over 25 years in several capacities, including classification and records officer, training sergeant, academy instructor, Correctional Response Team member, Special Response Team member, PREA coordinator and firearms instructor, among others.
Sgt. Tracy Lyons of Byram – She has been a member of the Corrections Division for 22 years and has served as a field training officer, former president and treasurer of PBA Local #177. She has attended specialty courses in the areas of Crisis Negotiations and Internal Affairs.
Sgt. Robert Monto of Manville – He has been a member of the Corrections Division for approximately 15 years. He previously served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as presidential security at Camp David. After graduating from the Police Academy, he later became an instructor there. He is a member of both the Correctional Response and Special Response Teams, where he is an assistant team leader.
Cpl. Peter Buttitta of Bridgewater – A member of the Corrections Division for 18 years, he holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Raritan Valley Community College. He currently is a member of both the Correctional Response Team and the Sheriff’s Response Team.
NEW HIRES – CORRECTIONS DIVISION
Officer Christopher Elbaum of Hillsborough – A Hillsborough High School graduate, he holds associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, respectively, from Raritan Valley Community College and Stockton University. He also is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwondo and a blue belt in Krav Maga.
Officer Reyghie Felix of Somerville – He graduated from Somerville High School, where he was a four-year varsity track-and-field athlete. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Kean University, where he also was public relations director for KeanSafe, an organization that works with campus police.
Officer Kyle Capalbo of Bound Brook – He graduated from Bound Brook High School, where he played football, baseball and basketball. He then attended Raritan Valley Community College for two years.
SWEARINGS-IN – LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION
The following were sworn in as Sheriff’s Officers:
Michael DiBella of Middlesex– After graduating from Middlesex High School, he attended Kean University and graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and shortly thereafter joined the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office as a cadet. He graduated with the Monmouth County Police Academy’s 91st class in December 2016.
Steven Pagano of Martinsville – He was born and raised in Warren Township and graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School and attended Raritan Valley Community College with a major in criminal justice. Last January he started working as a Sheriff’s Officer cadet and then advanced to a Sheriff’s Officer in June 2016.
James N. Kirchner Jr. of Whitehouse Station – He graduated from Somerville High School, where he was a New Jersey state wrestling champion, in 2008 and from Rider University in 2012. He is active in the Somerville Fire Department and was a two-time top responder to fire calls. He is currently a lieutenant with Somerville Hook & Ladder.
Walter J. Sliwa III of Neshanic Station– After graduating from Somerville High School in 2011, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and currently serves in the Army Reserve as a Military Police Officer with the 367th Military Police Company. He graduated from the Essex County Police Academy in May 2015 and served as a deputy with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He became a Somerset County Sheriff’s Office in October 2016.
Sean M. Kumpf of Whitehouse Station– Immediately following an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Centenary University and a master’s degree from Seton Hall University. He has worked in dispatch for Morris County and the Bernardsville Police Department. He comes from a family of law enforcement officers, including a great-grandfather, two grandfathers, an uncle, and his father, former Bernards Township Police Chief Robert Kumpf Sr.
Lorenzo Moye of Franklin – A 2001 graduate of Franklin High School, he also received his cosmetology license from Somerset County Vo-Tech and became a successful barber in Somerset and Middlesex counties. Following in the footsteps of his father, Corrections Lt. Lorenzo Moye Sr., he joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2004 and was a cadet for the past 12 years.
Provenzano also presented the following awards:
Exceptional Duty Award, Corrections Division – Lt. Nicholas Klementowicz, for his role in providing active-shooter training to county, municipal and court employees over the past 2½ years.
Sheriff’s Recognition Award, Corrections Division – Lt. Dean Picone and Sgt. Paul Gibbons, for implementing the Visual Computer Solutions scheduling system for the Corrections Division over the past year.
Sheriff’s Recognition Award, Corrections Division, Team Recognition 4-12 and 8-4 Shifts – Two incidents in March 2016 involving a malfunction in an air handler resulted in several jail units filling with smoke, the activation of emergency fire procedures and the subsequent relocation of prisoners. Providing a quick and professional response were Sgt. Suzanne DeLeo, Sgt. Anthony Davia, Sgt. Vincent Carrube, Sgt. Gregory Quintero, Sgt. Hector Garcia, Sgt. Sonny Shea, Sgt. Tracy Lyons, Cpl. Jerry Magliaro, and Officers Donna Tindle, Kenneth Leach, Michael DeRosa, Gaspare LoStocco, Chelsea Scalzo, Angel Torres, Jason Goodman, John Reznik, Wilmerson Gonzalez, Paul Horensky, Shaun Furmick, Michael Miller, Edward Zuza, Latasha Tukes, Roger Ridley, Amanda Conner, Dennis O’Brien, Clarence Anthony, Miriam Beteta, Rickey Matthews, Joseph Steinau, Kristen Delacruz, James Bellamy, Timothy Norton, Bradley Phillips, Majette Tynes, Joseph Florek, Alan Fischetti, James Villamil, Alfred Hohnhorst and John Pineiro.
Civilian Sheriff’s Recognition Award – Alyssa Wonsor, administrative mail clerk in the Corrections Division, for serving as the first line of defense to prevent contraband from entering the county jail. In July 2016, she noticed irregularities in children’s drawings sent to an inmate that turned out to contain a controlled dangerous substance.
Law Enforcement Awards:
Exceptional Duty Awards – Sheriff’s Officer David Daneker and K-9 Apex, for aiding in the confiscation of $2.9 million worth of street drugs, six firearms and over $400,000 in U.S. currency during 135 narcotics “sniffs”; Lt. Steve SanAntonio, for serving as project manager of the Sheriff’s Office Accreditation Program; and Sheriff’s Officer Robert Slovik, for training all staff members to meet guidelines set forth in the accreditation program.
Sheriff’s Recognition Awards – Sgt. Michael DiGuilio, for providing critical information, data and reports for the accreditation process; Det. Antoinette Hartman, for her role in enforcing the county’s child-support warrants, resulting in Somerset County being first in New Jersey for the month of October 2016; Sheriff’s Officer Albert Bauer, for serving as a central communication point coordinating the State K-9 Task Force as they checked the Basilone Parade route and Raritan Valley Community College in light of increased security following the Seaside Heights bombing incident in September 2016; Sheriff’s Officer Joshua Manzo, for assisting a visually impaired county resident to navigate the county complex, escorting her to the locations where she needed to file her documents; and Sgt. Robert Peschel, Sgt. Thomas Carlucci and Sheriff’s Officers Tim Musto, Scott Tozzi, Brendan Gattone, Samuel Annuzzi, Richard Fedora and Robert Slovick, for putting together live, proactive survival-training scenarios dealing with intruder and active-shooter situations.
Civilian Sheriff’s Recognition Awards – Retired Sheriff’s Officer Glenn Dickey, for working with Det. Hartman on the 4-D Program for Somerset County child-support warrants; and Edward Graf and Jaime Morales of the Somerset County Vo-Tech Schools, for coordinating a student project to decorate the flag-disposal box outside the Sheriff’s Office with a patriotic red, white and blue design.
Sheriff’s Recognition Award – Dr. Richard Celeste, Somerset County Police Academy director, for developing a comprehensive active-shooter training program and to date training more than 2,000 employees, Vicinage 13 judges, Somerset County Chaplaincy Council and the Somerset County Business Partnership, and now expanding the program to municipal employees.