LIVINGSTON, NJ – Community members and local dignitaries packed the auditorium at Livingston High School on Tuesday night in support of newly promoted Chief of Police Gary Marshuetz and six other members of the Livingston Police Department, who were officially sworn into their new positions at a special ceremony held during the Livingston Township Council meeting.
As Marshuetz’s appointment created subsequent vacancies within the department, Lieutenants Thomas Smith and John Drumm have been promoted to the rank of captain; Sergeants Jack Hickey and Walter Writt have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant; and patrol officers Deborah Shumaker and Vincent Daly have been promoted to the rank of sergeant. Family and friends joined each promoted officer as he or she took the oath of office, administered by former mayor Judge David Katz.
In explanation of his selection for chief, Township Manager Barry Lewis, Jr. said that in the short time he has been in the township, he has been extremely impressed with Marshuetz’s commitment and knowledge as well as the support the community has shown him.
“One example of what a great job Gary has done is that I have to promote two captains to replace him,” said Lewis. “What made me more sure than ever is the unanimous support that Gary had from the community…the elected officials, the board of ed members, the community members, stakeholders, business owners. I think that’s reflective of Gary’s commitment, his dedication and it’s incredibly well-deserved.”
Each council member, all of whom have worked closely with Marshuetz as former mayors, took turns reminiscing on projects they have worked on with Marshuetz and reflecting on why he was the right choice for Livingston’s next chief.
“This is a real honor for all of us, especially for myself being the mayor this year,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “You are the person who we all felt was the right person for this job, we know that you will lead Livingston in the future and we could not be happier with your selection. We wish you, your entire family and everybody in Livingston and the force much success as you take over the reins and lead our police department.”
In an emotional speech, Marshuetz reflected on his 30 years with the Livingston Police Department while thanking the township manager, the township council, board of education, department heads, all of his mentors over the years and other individuals who have supported him along the way.
“It is truly a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Livingston Police Department,” he said. “There are so many dedicated, hard-working, professional officers and auxiliary officers. Each day, I watch them pull out of headquarters, they go out on the road, they put themselves in harm’s way and when everybody else goes home, they’re out in the snow, the ice, the rain, weekends, holidays, night shifts, and I just want everybody here to know how proud I am of these officers and I know you’re proud of them too.”
In acknowledging his wife, Dana, and his three sons, Gary, Tyler and Gavin, Marshuetz also thanked the spouses and families of all the department members for the sacrifices they make when their loved ones are working at all hours to keep the community safe.
Prior to joining the department, Marshuetz received an Associate Degree in criminal justice from Morris County College and also did significant coursework at The University of Public Administration. He was appointed as a full-time Livingston patrol officer in January 1989 and attended the Essex County Police Academy.
In 1997, he was assigned to the detective bureau and two years later was promoted to the rank of sergeant. In 2005, Marshuetz was promoted to lieutenant in the patrol division and in 2008 was promoted to captain in the patrol division. He served in this capacity for 10 years, including five years as the only captain in the department.
After being sworn in and receiving his new badge as his wife, sons, stepmother, mother-in-law and sisters stood nearby, Marshuetz introduced his new captains, lieutenants and sergeants.
Newly appointed Cpt. Smith has been serving the department for 22 years. He graduated in 1996 from the Morris County Police Academy, and was hired to the Livingston Police Department in 1997.
Smith was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and lieutenant in 2012, and was most recently the commander of the department’s Emergency Services Unit (ESU). In his new position as captain, Smith will be in charge of the detective bureau, traffic, community policing, records and more. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Margaret and Henry.
Fellow Cpt. Drumm has been with the department for 29 years and previously served one year on the East Orange Police Department. He graduated from the police academy in 1988 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003.
Drumm was later assigned to the operations and traffic division before being promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2017. As captain, he will lead the patrol division as the commander in charge of 40 law enforcement officers, eight sergeants and four lieutenants. He is married to Renee, and has two children, Leah and John.
Newly appointed Lt. Writt graduated the Essex County Police Academy alongside Chief Marshuetz in 1989, and the two share 30 years together in Livingston. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001, and in his new capacity will supervise 10 officers and two sergeants as the evening watch commander. He has one son, Christopher, with his wife, Elaine.
Fellow Lt. Hickey was unable to attend Tuesday’s ceremony due to a prior commitment, but will be officially promoted during a township council meeting in the near future.
Newly appointed Sgt. Shumaker is the first female officer on the Livingston Police Department to be promoted to the rank of sergeant. She joined Livingston’s ranks in 1996, and in June 2003 was reassigned to the detective’s division. In 2009, She was reassigned to the internal affairs division and is also the hostage negotiator for the police department.
Shumaker began her law enforcement career at Somerset County Jail in 1992, and was then transferred to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. She and her wife, Amanda, who is also a former police officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan, have two children, Logan and Ethan.
Fellow Sgt. Daly has served the Livingston Police Department for 11 years. He and his wife, Rachel, have one daughter, Ava.
He graduated the police academy in 2008 as class president and was assigned to Livingston’s ESU. In 2015, he was reassigned to the detective bureau, where he has since been serving as a detective. Daly also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1994 to 1998.
Lewis noted that although these selections were all well-deserved, there were many qualified officers among Livingston’s ranks whom he looks forward to considering for promotion again in the future as more officers retire.
“I’ve been here for six months and I have been incredibly impressed with the Livingston Police Department—the professionalism, the dedication—all the men and women of the department are really committed to the community and the community can and should be very proud,” said Lewis. “Tonight is just the next step in continuing the leadership of the department and taking it to the next level.”
Marshuetz replaces Chief Craig Handschuch, whose retirement became effective on Sept. 1 after nearly 40 years on the department and 10 years as its chief.
Marshuetz said that what made Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony even more special was seeing the room full of people that each of the promoted officers have made a personal connection with.
Some of the local dignitaries in attendance included Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontouro, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Essex County Freeholders Pat Sebold and Len Luciano, Livingston Interim Superintendent of Schools Jim O’Neill, Livingston High School Principal Mark Stern, all members of the Livingston Board of Education, former police chiefs, former mayors, members of several of Livingston’s departments, community volunteers and more.