DENVILLE, NJ -- Denville Mayor Thomas Andes and members of the Denville Town Council welcomed new faces and promotions to the Denville Township Police Department on Sept. 3.
“I have the great honor tonight to promote three great officers, and [welcome] two new officers of Denville,” said Denville Police Chief Frank Perna, to a crowd of more than 50 people, including fellow police officers and the relatives of five policemen.
“It gives me great pleasure.”
The officers being promoted to sergeants that evening included Brian Williams, Daniel Fernandez and Richard Duba. All officers have a base annual salary of $115,295.
Originally from Mine Hill, Sergeant Williams is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, with a master’s in education, and worked as a school teacher before entering the Morris County Police Academy. He served in the police force of Pequannock before coming to Denville. He has served in patrol division, field training and as an instructor for the township police, at the academy and in the Detective Bureau.
Sergeant Fernandez is a native of Mt. Arlington and first entered the Denville police force in 2006. He attended Stockton University in Galloway, earning an undergraduate degree in criminal justice before enrolling into the Morris County Police Academy. He has served in patrol division, as a field training officer, fatal crash team investigator, member of the Detective Bureau, as well as Police Benevolent Assocation president. His father Butch Fernandez is a retired police chief of Wharton, and his brothers Bob and Marc are also police officers.
Sergeant Duda grew up in Jefferson Township and graduated from Rowan University with an undergraduate degree in law and justice. He also attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, receiving a master’s in administrative science. He has served with the Denville police force since 2004, taking responsibilities in patrol division, community services bureau as a school resource officer at Morris County School of Technology, mentor and liaison to Boy Scout Troop 17, and as a member of the department’s Honor Guard.
“It is a great honor to receive this promotion,” said Sergeant Duda.
“I want to take everything I’ve learned in community service and continue to give back.”
Following the promotions, two new faces, Officer Julian Melahn and Officer Kevin Pisano, took the oath to join the Denville Police Department. Both have a base annual salary of $45,675.
“This is really awesome,” said Melahn.
“This is a great group of guys in a great town.”
Raised in Denville, Melahn was first hired by the township police in April 2019 after graduating from the Atlantic County Police Academy. He was one of the first officers to participate in the Denville Junior Police Academy and was hired as a part-time dispatcher prior to his police officer service. Melahn is also a graduate of Kean University in Union, where he received an undergraduate degree in communications.
First hired in April of this year, Officer Pisano is another graduate of the Morris County Police Academy. Growing up in Mansfield, New Jersey, he moved to Chapin, South Carolina, in 2009, where he attended the University of South Carolina, receiving an undergraduate degree in criminal justice. His father Michael is a retired lieutenant from the Randolph Township Police Department.
“This is really rewarding,” said Officer Pisano.
“It’s a profession I wanted to do my whole life, following in my father’s and brother’s footsteps. I’m proud to be part of such a highly regarded police department, like Denville.”
Chief Perna was happy to have such officers on the Denville police force.
“I wish to thank all the officers you see here coming to work every day and doing their very best,” said Chief Perna.
“Doing things that people don’t want to do. Seeing things people don’t want to see. Putting lives on the line sometimes so others can be safe and happy. They do an awesome job for our community so I wish to say thank you, and congratulations to all the families.”
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