SCOTH PLAINS, NJ -- Before a capacity crowd at the Scotch Plains Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17, Police Chief Ted Conley announced the promotions of five officers:
- Sergeant Stanley Pearson
- Sergeant James Ritchie
- Sergeant David Lavery
- Sergeant Jerald Brown
- Lieutenant Albert Sellinger
Sgt. Stan Pearson (joined by wife, Jessica, and kids Lucas & Oliver)
Stan Pearson grew up in Scotch Plains and graduated Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School (SPFHS) in 2000. He joined the U.S.Marine Corps in January 2002 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and again in 2005. Upon his return, he attended Morris County Police Academy and joined the Scotch Plains Police Department (SPPD) in July 2007. He was assigned to Union County Emergency Response Team in 2008 and selected for the County's SWAT Team in 2009. He has served as a fire arms instructor and helped develop and institute he Scotch Plains Police active shooter protocol. Sgt. Pearson was assigned to the detective bureau October 2013-December 2016.
Sgt. Jim Richie (joined by wife, Kristie, and kids Addison & Jack)
Sgt. James Richie Joined the Scotch Plains Police Department on July 23, 2001, and has served in the Patrol Division for the last 15 years. Additionally, he has served as a field training officer and played an active role in teaching new police officers how to properly perform their duties. During his career, Sgt. Richie has received numerous awards and accolades:
- In 2003, he received two Letters of Commendation from the SPPD -- one for saving the life of a resident having a medical emergency, and the other for helping to subdue an armed suspect who was physically attacking a fellow officer.
- In 2005, Sgt. Richie was presented with a letter of commendation by the Secret Service for his actions during a riot condition that occurred at a Presidential event held in Westfield.
- From 2010 thru 2016, he was presented with five M.A.D.D. Awards and two State of New Jersey D.W.I. Top Gun Awards for his work to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers. (He has also provided Drunk Driver Awareness lectures for many SPFHS students.)
- In 2013, he responded to a Fanwood request for mutual aid for an incident that would later turn into an active shooter situation. He received the Union County 200 Club Valor Award, The NJ Law Enforcement Officers Valor Award, and a Combat Cross from the SPPD.
- Sgt. Richie has received two Knights of Columbus Shield Awards for public service and on two occasions has been recognized by The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly where he was presented with Joint Legislative Resolutions in his honor -- one for his role in the active shooter situation, and the other for assisting a fellow officer in delivering a new born resident in Scotch Plains.
Sgt. Dave Lavery (joined by wife, Christina and kids Brendan & Cara)
Sgt. Lavery graduated from SPFHS in 2000 and joined the Marines in 2002. He served in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. After active duty, I served in the Marine Reserves until 2008. He joined SPPD and was "trained for excellence by former FTO, Chief Ted Conley." Sgt. Lavery has worked in the Patrol Division and also serves as a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and DARE Officer. He is currently assigned to the Union County Emergency Response Team and Union County SWAT.
Sgt. Jerry Brown (joined by wife, Maureen, and daughter Stephanie)
Sgt. Brown moved to Scotch Plains in 1990 and immediately joined the Scotch Plains Fire Dept., where he rose to the rank of captain. In 1991, he began teaching fire safety in SP-F elementary schools. He joined SPPD on Jan. 12, 1998, and began teaching safety at Evergreen School. In May 2004, he was assigned to the Traffic Bureau. His duties include investigating major accidents, overseeing crossing guards, and maintaining SPPD's fleet of equipment. He also served as a DARE officer until 2015. He was one of the first officers to complete the transition from the DARE program to thee new LEAD educational program for students. Sgt. Brown is also in charge of the Traffic Bureau.
Lt. Al Sellinger (joined by wife, Daniella, and sons Brody & Kyle)
A lifelong resident of Scotch Plains and a graduate of SPFHS, Lt. Sellinger began his career with SPPD in July 2001 and graduated from the John H. Stamler Police Academy in December 2001. He was assigned to the Patrol division. In addition to his regular patrol duties, he was a DARE instructor at Park and Terrill Middle Schools from 2004 to 2011. Lt. Sellinger has coorinated many community policing events throughout his career and received numerous Letters of Commendation. In December 2005, he received the SPPD's exceptional Duty Medal after arresting a suspect armed with a handgun who fled on foot from a motor vehicle stop during a narcotics investigation. The gun was later determined to have been used by the suspect a week prior in two attempted murders. In October 2006, he was assigned to the Union County Prosecutors Office Narcotics Unit as a detective. In March 2007, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and assigned as a supervisor in the Patrol Division, a position in which he served until December 2016.
Following each officer's swearing in, Council members thanked them for their service. Following the ceremony, the Council chambers emptied and only a handful of residents remained for the rest of the meeting.