EAST ORANGE, NJ – The New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association Inc., awarded the bravery and service of two members of East Orange Police Department during their Annual Valor Award Banquet held in Atlantic City on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

EOPD Detective Damon Johnson and Sergeant Michael Williams, Jr. were celebrated for their dedication and service with Williams receiving a Gold Medal of Valor Award and Johnson receiving a Meritorious Service Valor Award.  

Sgt. Williams, a 13-year-veteran and a karate instructor with the East Orange Safe Haven Police Athletic League, was awarded for his valor during a routine stop. On the morning of November 5, 2014, Williams was patrolling the area of North Oraton Parkway and New Street when he attempted to stop a man riding on a bicycle for a quality of life violation. The man turned on Williams and shot him in his torso. Though Williams was injured by the impact of the gunfire, police officials credited a bullet proof vest for possibly saving his life.

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Det. Johnson, a 15-year-veteran, was on routine patrol on March 14, 2015 in the area of North Arlington Avenue and William Street when he observed two men engaged in fight. As Johnson got closer, he observed one of the men fall to the ground while the other man stood above him pointing what Johnson believed to be a gun. When Johnson pulled over and yelled for the man to stop, the suspect started to run, tossing his weapon in a nearby driveway. Johnson eventually caught and apprehended the suspect, who police later learned was the brother of the other man involved in the incident. Johnson was acknowledged for his swift action and courage in diverting what could have been a terrible tragedy.

 “It is an honor to have police officers like Sgt. Williams and Det. Johnson on our side, risking their lives every day to protect the citizens of East Orange,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. “It is because of their commitment that our city is safer than it has been in over 50 years.”  

It has been a banner year of recognition for the East Orange Police Department. On Dec. 3, 2015, East Orange Police Chief William C. Robinson also will be honored by the Association of Police Chiefs of Essex County with the “Municipal Law Enforcement Executive of the Year” Award.

“Chief Robinson is a visionary leader whose ongoing efforts to combat crime have once again restored faith and pride in our once troubled community,” said Taylor. “It is wonderful to see him recognized among his peers for doing such an outstanding job.”

After a three-year hiatus, the City of East Orange held the first joint East Orange Police and Fire Promotion and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Among the most notable achievements was the promotion of Tasha Hayes-Smith to Captain, making her the first female captain in East Orange history. Hayes-Smith has served as a member of the EOFD since August of 1993 and is the wife of Captain Donnell Smith. Captain Smith is one of only three women to ever serve for the Fire Department. 

The following is a complete of the honorees and promotions:

EOFD Promotions

Deputy Chief Timothy D. Fletcher

Captain Kiron G. Walton

Captain Walter R. Cosby

Captain Darnell Gray

Captain Andre M. Williams

Captain Nicholas J. Lawlor

Captain Joseph Cosby, Jr.

Captain Steve Romero

Captain Tasha L. Hayes-Smith

Fire Official Jeffrey D. Hester

Gold Medal

Firefighter Stanley E. White

Firefighter Hector E. Rodriguez


FAO Derris K. Alexander

Firefighter Stephan Y. Agrippa

Captain Rodney A. Johnson

Firefighter Edward O. Conover

Firefighter Leonard E. McDaniel III

Firefighter Jonathan A. Milbourne

Firefighter Hector J. Rodriguez

Firefighter Kobie Sanders


Captain Matthew J. Crespin

Firefighter Irwin R. Jackson

Firefighter Kenneth W. Denicola

New Firefighters


Jean S. Augustin

Tariq A. Bond

Ernest R. Cooke

Mark Washington

Michel C. Williamson

Kenneth B. Greene

Davizael Sanchez

James Norris

Jonathan A. Milbourne

Terence Thornton

Tavoyon J. Pulliam

Jason A. Green


Tahric A. Carr

Alexander M. Adams

Marell D. Hodges

Curtis J. Kirkland

Scott J. Jones

Bruce J. Griggs, Jr.

Kareem Watkins

Stephan Agrippa

EOPD Promotions

Deputy Chief William Phillips, Jr.

Inspector Tony Cook

Captain Phyllis Bindi

Captain Michael Allman

Captain Zachary Muse

Lieutenant Christopher Dehagara

Lieutenant Jimmie Sheard

Lieutenant Richard Acosta

Lieutenant Kasim Gilyard

Lieutenant Calvin Anderson

Lieutenant Michele Purvis

Lieutenant Tonya McDonald

Lieutenant Hosia Reynolds

Lieutenant Raymond Garcia

Lieutenant Maurice Boyd

Lieutenant Kevin Coleman

Sergeant Ibn Barnes-Howard

Sergeant James Summers

Sergeant Arcadio Valentin

Sergeant Ronson Johnson

Sergeant Mark Rodgers

Sergeant Robert Harris

Sergeant Tahmesha Nunn

Sergeant Joseph Williams

Sergeant Lashelle Caldwell

Sergeant Anthony Ricks

Sergeant Raymond Donnerstag

Sergeant Marilyn Berrouet

Sergeant Yasmine Johnson

Medal of Honor

Sgt. Michael Williams, Jr.

Medal of Merit

Sergeant Joseph Williams

Officer Keishon Jonas

Officer Kemon Lee

Officer Kendrick Hamlett

Officer Michael DiGugliemlo

Officer Moses Sangster

Excellent Duty

Lieutenant Berkeley Jest

Sergeant Anthony Ricks

Sergeant Joseph Williams

Sergeant Lawrence Flanagan

Sergeant Raymond Donnerstag

Detective Ayotunde Adedeji

Detective Jamal Washington

Detective Michael Parker

Detective Phillip Reed Jr.

Officer Alyse Brown

Officer Amena Wright

Officer Antoine Buggs

Officer Benjamin Pasley

Officer Bridget Awuah

Officer Frederick Jeffers

Officer Jermaine Wilkins

Officer Justin Jackson

Officer Kemon Lee

Officer Luis Borrero

Officer Shundel Thom

Officer Stephen Rochester

Command Citations

Inspector Tony Cook

Lieutenant Darryl Wright

Lieutenant Jimmie Sheard

Lieutenant Kevin Coleman

Lieutenant Tonya McDonald

Sergeant Anthony Ricks

Sergeant David Sealy

Sergeant Keith Gillespie

Sergeant Lawrence Flanagan

Sergeant Mark Rodgers

Sergeant Raymond Donnerstag

Sergeant Reginald Hudson

Sergeant Wayne Adams

Detective Anthony Peters

Detective Dedra Booker

Detective Jermin Spencer

Detective Jon Cato

Detective Michael Parker

Detective Robert Wright

Officer Abdul-Kareem Abdullah

Officer Alyse Brown

Officer Anthony Taylor

Officer Antoine Buggs

Officer Atiba Amoroso

Officer Beverly Cavalcante

Officer Calvin Plummer

Officer Christopher Freeman-Saldivia

Officer Craig May

Unit Citations

Police Operations

Day Patrol

Evening Patrol

Mid-Night Patrol

Special Operations

Violent Crimes Task Force

Criminal Investigations Bureau

Enhanced Safety Team

Strategic Analysis Intelligence Unit

Professional Standard Unit

Informational Services

Medical Department

School Resource Officers

Evidence Unit

Community Relations & Training Unit

Special Appreciation &


Communications Department

Crossing Guards

Informational Services

Auxiliary Police

Human Resources

Chief’s Administrative Office

Police Athletic League

Domestic Violence Response Team