Police & Fire

Sparta's New Police Chief Looks to the Future

7854ca07a223080b3a74_spidaletto.JPG
Sparta Township Manager William Close and Police Chief Neil Spidaletto Credits: Jennifer Dericks
7854ca07a223080b3a74_spidaletto.JPG

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta Police Department will have a new chief as of June 2.  Neil Spidaletto will be promoted to the position in a ceremony open to the community in the Sparta High School auditorium, Spidaletto’s alma mater. Sparta Township Manager Bill Close made the announcement at the council meeting on Tuesday.

Spidaletto has served under the title “acting chief” since Ernie Reigstad retired in March

Spidaletto's 23 years experience in the Sparta Police Department began in 1995 when he started as a patrolman.  In 1999 he rose to the rank of Detective, in 2003 he was promoted to Sergeant and Lieutenant in 2013.

Sign Up for E-News

A Sparta High School alumnus, Spidaletto has a Masters of Public Administration in Human Resources from Seton Hall.  He received his bachelors degree in Political Science from Villanova University.  Spidaletto recently attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.

Looking at the challenges before him Spidaletto points to the principals of policing that “have not changed over centuries.”  Drawing their authority from those whom they serve, “law enforcement has certainly gotten more complex in the two decades” he has served. 

“Just as when I started, we…are expected to…enforce all the laws of the state,” Spidaletto said.  “The challenges arise in the fact that we are expected to do so much more.  There are many more laws, guidelines and directives to be informed on and followed.”

Advances in technology also present new challenges to policing.

“Transparency has been in the forefront of law enforcement with many more agencies acquiring body cameras memorializing nearly all interactions,” Spidaletto said.  “I see these as positive changes and am confident that Sparta officers are conducting themselves in a professional way.”

Body cameras are only one example of the technological advances that impact policing according to Spidaletto.  He noted that while they can assist officers in their duties, they must be diligently trained to ensure a level of professionalism is maintained. 

Assisting residents who have mental health or addiction challenges is another example of the changes in policing. 

“Law enforcementofficers  throughout the state are required to receive training on how to effectively handle these types of incidents,” Spidaletto said.  “We are committed to partnering with Newton Chief Mike Richards and the Center for Prevention and Counseling in the CLEAR program. Sparta’s recent commitment to the Stigma Free Initiative supports that program.”

The challenges arise in making sure that the officers of the  Sparta Police Department are completely informed, trained, and capable of handling these multitude of changes, according to Spidaletto.

There are a few other initiatives Spidaletto is working on as well.  The department has had a goal of attaining accreditation through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. 

“We just recently received notification that we have been accepted to this program,” Spidaletto said.  “This process will allow our agency to further enhance our performance and objectives.”

The accreditation will institutionalize best practices from agencies throughout the state.  It represents “a significant professional achievement for the department. I am confident that our agency will not have any problem meeting these standards.”

The chief is looking forward to continuing the Public Safety Commission and Community Matters efforts.  He points to storm preparation and educating the children of the community with Law Enforcement Against Drugs or LEAD officers in the schools as initiatives that continue to strengthen the relationships between the police and the community.

School security oversight “has always been a priority” for the Sparta Police Department.  While much has been done “to prepare and respond to any incident at schools and daycare centers,” Spidaletto is committed to “continued evaluation and training.”  

“We always encourage the community to be aware and contact us with anything they believe is suspicious or something they feel we should know,” Spidaletto said.  “It is with the assistance of the community that crimes may be prevented.” 

“He has proven himself as a respected leader throughout the organization who has displayed an exceptional level of professionalism during his career in law enforcement,” Close said.

He noted Spidaletto had been raised in Sparta and he is raising his family in this community as well.  The Chief’s father was also a Sparta police officer for 16 years. 

“He is dedicated to serving the residents of the community and to the men and women under his command,”Close said. 

“I would like to extend an invitation to anyone in the community who may want to attend and observe the promotional ceremony,” Spidaletto said.  The June 2 event is scheduled to being at 6 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Speeding Stop Nets Drug Charges for Two Brooklyn Men

June 19, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Two men from Brooklyn, New York stopped for speeding are facing drug charges.  On June 16 around 11 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over a grey Toyota Rav4 driven by David Mai, 20 going 95 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, police said.

When Herd spoke with the Mai, the officer smelled marijuana in the car. Mai said he had pot in his backpack.  Sparta Police ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Sparta Man Stopped for Speeding

SPARTA, NJ — A Sparta resident was picked up on an active warrant after getting stopped for speeding on Route 181. On June 16 around 1:35 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped John Clark, 51 in his black Ford pickup driving 60 in a 45 MPH zone, police report.

Clark was not able to show the officer his license but gave his personal information. Rubino found Clark’s license had expired and ...

Sparta Police: Wanted Man Picked Up in Speeding Stop, Gets Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ — A Newark man was picked up when the car in which he was riding was stopped for speeding. On June 8 around 11:50 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over Tashiana Martin, 27, of West Orange for speeding, police report.

When Herd spoke with Martin he smelled marijuana in the car. Herd also saw that passenger Ibenabdul Harden, 28, was not wearing a seat belt. When the ...

The Power of Positive Engagement

June 17, 2018

To the Editor:

I wanted to share this letter from Laurie Beacham, Media Director for NJ 11th for Change, about the notable increase in voter turnout and citizens deciding to run in the recent primary election:

"The 11th Congressional District has a lot to be proud of. In the June 5th primaries, voter turnout climbed from almost 33,000 in 2014 to over 86,000. Democratic ...

Again, Oroho, Space and Wirths Get It Wrong

On Wednesday, June 13th, a series of gun violence prevention bills were signed into law by Governor Murphy. These bills will strengthen our already strong gun laws in New Jersey and none of these new laws infringe on anyone’s right to keep and bear arms.   

Unfortunately, Senator Oroho and Assemblymen, Space and Wirths our Legislative District 24 representatives voted NO to a ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, June 21, 2:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Summer Afternoon Garden Soiree

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Carousel_image_a567a59640ee87a05151_boe_sign__2_

Mon, June 25, 5:30 PM

Mohawk Avenue School, Sparta

Sparta Board of Education Meeting UPDATED

Education

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, June 30, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 7, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Carousel_image_ace2e0a21a0268782288_sparta_historical_society

Sun, July 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_dc175377b12fc03a60a8_toni4

Sun, July 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_6f4ecc7e007a7b295623_farmers_market

Sat, July 14, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sussex Stags Football Team to Hold Fourth Annual Golf Outing

June 16, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—The Sussex County Stags will be holding their fourth annual gold outing on Saturday June 23.

Arrival time is 11:30 a.m. at the Minebrook Golf Club located at 500 Schooleys Mountain Road in Hackettstown. Golfing will begin at 1 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online at www.sussexstags.com.

Tickets are $125 per person and include the following: golfing, the cart, an all you ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

June 15, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

Why Buying a Home is Better Than Renting

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home in New Jersey, but nobody ever asks whether or not it’s a good time to rent. Regardless, Team Nest Builder wants to make certain that everyone understands that now is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their 2018 first quarter median rent numbers. This graph from their report shows rent increases from 1988 ...

5 Fab Father's Day Happenings in Sussex & Morris Counties

Father’s Day hits this Sunday--what do YOU have planned? Team Nest Builder offers a slew of Father’s Day fun in Morris and Sussex County. Read on and surprise Dad with cool activities! (Be sure to check if registration is required prior to showing up!)

Alstede Farms' Father's Day Brunch – Chester

From 9am-noon, take a scenic hayride to a brunch buffet that offers ...

Don't Miss Sunday's OPEN HOUSE for 4BR Sparta Mountain Beauty

Perched handsomely on an acre in the beautiful SpartaMountain community, 28 Waters Edgeoffers a 4BR 2.5 Bathroom home with space and style. Come see for yourself this Sunday, June 17th, from 1-3pm at our OPEN HOUSE!

Located in the prestigious Sparta Mountain Reserve, this large, beautiful center hall colonial with open floor plan has a nice, level play yard with direct ...

Days on The Housing Market Drops to New Low

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median number of days that a home spent on the market hit a new low of 26 days in April, as 57% of homes remained on the market for under a month.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, opined,

“What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace. Since NAR began tracking this ...

Pass It Along Triathlon

Tri-something new this July and sign up for the Pass It Along Triathlon!

The 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon will take place on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Lake Mohawk Country Club. This triathlon features two USAT-certified courses - Olympic and Sprint. This triathlon has become a Sparta tradition and everyone is welcome to attend to cheer on athletes and be a part of the ...

Welcome to the Pass It Along Column!

This is the first in a weekly series of columns which will focus on news, events, announcements, and opportunities from Pass It Along. Please check back next week to see what’s happening!

Welcome to Pass It Along's TAPinto column! We are so excited to partner with TAPinto Sparta to share news, highlights and opportunities with you to get involved with Pass It Along!

What is ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

June 13 Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting

NEWTON, NJ - The June 13 Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting video.

 

Summer Hockey Programs at Skylands: 3v3, U8 and Beginner Hockey Camp

June 19, 2018

Skylands U8 Cross Ice Challenge League

Skylands Cross Ice Challenge League is an intermediate league for kids ages 8 and under. Emphasis on fun, skill progression, and player development, it de-emphasizes stressful, high-pressure, game scenarios and ultra-competitive play. It's focus is more on individual skating, player skills & puck touches
One practice per week ...