ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury resident Tyler Bartol became a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer this week, one of two recruits whose Basic Police Training Class was interrupted for 10 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bartol, and fellow newcomer Michael Smith of Jefferson, were officially sworn-in to their positions Monday by Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, said Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Peggy Wright.

Bartol is a 2012 Roxbury High School graduate who attended County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Rutgers University, according to Wright. She said he was hired by the Sheriff’s Office after working as a dispatcher for the Morris County Communications Center.

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Bartol was joined at the swearing-in by his parents, Laura and Geoff Bartol, and brothers Trevor and Ryan. His uncle, John McGuinness, is a retired Morris Township police chief, noted Wright.

Bartol and Smith “took the oath of office surrounded by family in the Historic Courtroom of the Morris County Courthouse after graduating the 94th Basic Police Training Class at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy on July 16,” Wright said.

An official graduation ceremony did not occur at the Academy because of the ongoing healthcare crisis, she said. The officers, among 38 graduates, started the Basic Police Training Class on Jan. 13. The class was put on hold March 19 and recruits were not allowed to return until June 1.

During the unexpected class break, Bartol and Smith were among the recruits who assisted the Morris County Office of Emergency Management with tasks related to operation of the Morris County COVID-19 drive-through test site on the CCM campus.

“I know you’ve gotten here against all odds,” Gannon said. “You’ve joined a great family in law enforcement. So, make a difference. Make THE difference.”

Challenging Times for Law Enforcement

Bartol and Smith are beginning their careers at a particularly challenging time, with COVID-19, economy fluctuations, protests and civil unrest in parts of the country, Gannon said.

“I think there are good things on the horizon, but these are challenging times,” he said. He urged family members to support the new officers, who may not always be able to celebrate holidays or festivities because of work duties.

Bartol and Smith are assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Protective Services Division (PSD), which is responsible for protection of judges and security in and around the Morris County Courthouse complex, Wright said.

Between March 30 and June 26, many of the officers assigned to PSD were reassigned to security and traffic control at the Morris County COVID-19 test site, and to transporting samples to a laboratory.

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