NEWTON, NJ—In front of his family, friends, the town council, and his fellow officers, Steven Van Nieuwland was sworn in as a member of the Newton Police Department during the council meeting on Monday.

His wife and two daughters held the Bible. Deputy Mayor Wayne Levante read the oath to Van Nieuwland, as he repeated the words loud for everyone in attendance to hear.

Once finished with the oath, his wife pinned him and then Chief Michael Richards said a few words about Van Nieuwland.

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“He was hired in January of 2000. As a patrolman, he really distinguished himself for his abilities," Richards said. "He is a very talented police officer. He started out as a traffic officer and later as a Directive Patrol Officer because he was a really good problem solver. Later on he was given certain training because of his productivity and his interest in going out and being proactive, he became a Drug Recognition Expert or DRE. He also had another side to him, maybe it’s because of his two beautiful little girls here tonight, but he became trained and certified as a child safety seat expert.

"A few years ago, due to his very good service record he was put into the detective bureau and with Officer Philhower’s retirement, we needed a Fire Arms Instructor, which is another area that he show a lot of skill and expertise, so he is now one of the department’s Fire Arms Instructors. He has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and scored very well on the Civil Service Test, which is not surprising. So we are very glad to be able to put him into the department as one of the department’s supervisors.”

Once Richards finished, Van Nieuwland said a few words of thanks to the Chief, council, and all those in attendance.

“I’d like to thank the Newton Town Council, Town Manager, Tom Russo, and Chief Richards for this opportunity and I look forward to fulfilling the duties of Sergeant in the Town of Newton," Van Nieuwland said. "I’d like to especially thank my family, my wife Julie and my daughters Paige and Morgan, and my friends for their continued support. I’m fortunate to work for the Town of Newton and be a member of this department. I work with a great group of people and I look forward to the future together. Thank you.”

Pictures with the Town Council members, Deputy Mayor Levante, Councilman Flynn, Councilman Elvidge, and Councilwoman LeFois (Mayor Diglio was absent from the meeting) were taken with Van Nieuwland along with retired police officer Frank Philhower Jr. in front of the town seal.

Van Nieuwland and Philhower, along with the rest of the many Newton Police Officers that came to bear witness to both the honoring of retired officer Philhower for his dedication and service and the Swearing-in of Van Nieuwland as a Sergeant in the Newton Police Department, were captured in pictures as well by friends and family of the two officers.