UNION, NJ - Eight officers from the Union Police Department took the oath office for their promoted positions on Monday, outside behind Town Hall before family and friends.

(Four Union firefighters were honored later in the ceremony.  Stay tuned to TAPinto Union for information on the firefighter promotions.)

"This has been a very challenging time and our police officers and police department has met that challenge," said Deputy Mayor and Police Commissioner Joseph Florio.   "We are going to count a lot on our newly promoted officers to lead the police force and keep our community safe."

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"On behalf of myself, Assemblywoman Quijano, and Assemblyman Holley, we congratulate you," said State Senator Joseph Cryan.  "Take a moment and reflect on the work you've done that has gotten you here."

Capt. Barry Cohen joined the Union Police Department in July 1999.  He graduated from Union High School in 1985 and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology in 1988.  In May 2010, Cohen was promoted to Sergeant, assigned as road supervisor to the Patrol Bureau.  He was promoted to lieutenant in December 2015.  In 2017, Cohen was assigned to the Staff Services Bureau.  Throughout his career in the Union Police Department, Cohen has received various specialized training including breathalyzer operation, latent fingerprint investigation.  He has also served as a member of the department's Hazardous Response Team as a PR-24 instructor.  He is a member of PBA Local #69 and served on the Executive Board as treasurer for eight years.  

Throughout his career in law enforcement, Cohen has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including two PBA Local #69 Awards, 2001 Exemplary Service Award, 2004 Exemplary Service Award, two departmental Command Citations, 2008 Commendation Medal.  Cohen's father, Howard, served with the Union Police Department for 30 years as a special police officer and his mother Phyllis was a departmental secretary for 25 years.

Lt. Robert Donnelly III was appointed to the Township of Union Police Department on January 24, 2003.  He graduated from Union High School in 1997 and enrolled at Kean University.  He received a Bachelor's Degree in criminal justice in 2002.  While a police officer, Donnelly enrolled at Seton Hall University and received a Master's Degree in human resources, training and development in 2006.  During his law enforcement career, Donnelly received specialized training to be recognized as a Field Training Officer, playing a vital and responsible role in training newly hired police officers.

Donnelly was promoted to Sergeant on June 24, 2015, where he served as a road supervisor to the evening shift of the Patrol Bureau.  On January 1, 2018, Donnelly was assigned as supervisor of the Traffic Bureau, where he would oversee the department's popular Motorcycle Unit and assist with township events through the use of traffic enforcement details.  

Throughout his career, Donnelly received numerous honors and recognitions including five Command Citations and is the recipient of three Letters of Appreciation for several acts of bravery in the line of duty.  Donnelly is currently a member of PBA Local #69 and SOA (Superior Officers' Association).

Lt. Walter Stinner was appointed to the Union Police Department in July 1994.  He graduated from Union High School in 1988.  Prior to joining Union's police force, he was employed as a Correction's officer with the Essex County Jail in Newark for five years.  

Throughout his career in Union, Stinner held numerous assignments including in the Patrol Bureau, Street Crimes/TAC Unit, Emergency Response Team, and Detective Bureau.  He has received specialized training in Narcotics Investigation, Search Warrant Entry Techniques, Concealed Trap Training, and Crisis Negotiation.  Stinner was promoted to Sergeant on February 24, 2015.  Throughout his career, Stinner received numerous honors and recognitions including eight Command Citations, three Commendation Medals, one Distinguished Service Award, one Unit Citation, and two Medals of Merit, Officer of the Year, and fourteen PBA Exemplary Service Awards.  He is currently a member of PBA Local #69.

Sgt. Michael Leeman has served twenty-three years in the Patrol Bureau in the Union Police Department.  He graduated from Union High School in 1990 and earned an Associate's Degree from Union County College and enrolled in Rutgers University.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 1992 where he served as an aviation electrician.  Prior to coming to the Union Police Department, Leeman worked as a Union County Corrections Officer.

Throughout his career, Leeman has received numerous honors and recognitions due to his dedicated and loyal service.  

Sgt. Nuno Lopes joined the Union Police Department on December 2, 2010, where he was assigned to the Patrol Bureau. Lopes graduated from St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth in 1999.  Prior to coming to the Union police, Lopes was employed by the Newark Police Department after graduating from the Newark Police Academy in 2010.   He has been a certified EMT for twenty-three years, since he was sixteen years old.  Lopes was an EMS at UMDNJ for six years.  

Throughout his career in law enforcement, Lopes received numerous honors and recognitions including a CPR Save Award and three Command Citations.  He currently serves as a member of PBA Local #69, executive member of the Portuguese American Police Association, and as an advisor to the department's Police Explorer Program.  Lopes plays a vital role in facilitating and coordinating the annual Police Department PBA Local #69 Turkey Drive for Thanksgiving.

Sgt. John Oliveira was born in Portugal and raised in Newark where he attended East Side High School.  He began his career in public service at the age of 16 as a volunteer emergency medical technician.  During his 12 years of medical service, Oliveira worked for numerous emergency medical service organizations, including University Hospital, Jersey City EMS, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

In 2003, Oliveira was hired as an East Orange police officer and attended the Essex County Police Academy.  In 2007, he transferred to the Newark Police Department, where he was assigned to the Patrol Division, and later to the Traffic Division where he became a member of the Motorcycle Unit.  While employed in Newark, he received four Command Citations and an F.O.P. Honor Award.

Oliveira was hired in Union in December 2010.  He was assigned to the Patrol Division before joining the Street Crimes/TAC Unit in 2016.  He was assigned to the Detective Bureau in 2018 and also joined the Traffic Unit as a motorcycle officer.  Oliveira has received numerous recognitions, including a Command Medal, three Command Citations, a Unit Citation, three P.B.A. Exemplary Service Awards, and one Service Award.

Sgt. David Popick was appointed to the Union Police Department on July 23, 2003.  He is a 1996 graduate of Union High School and received an Associate's Degree from Union County College in Urban Studies in 2003.  He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor's Degree in sociology with a concentration in political science and criminology in 2005.  He began his law enforcement career as an Auxiliary Officer in Union from 1993-1999.  He was employed as a Corrections Officer at the Juvenile Justice Commission from 2001-2002.

While a police officer, Popick enlisted in the NJ Army National Guard in March 2011, maintaining enlistment until March 2019.  During his military service, Popick served as a combat engineer, reaching the rank of Sergeant in 2015.  He was a member of Union's Emergency Response Team (EMT) and is a founding member of the department's Honor Guard.  Popick has received specialized training to be a relief 911 Emergency Relief Dispatcher and a Field Training Officer.  Throughout his career, Popick has received numerous honors and recognitions including a Certificate of Recognition, a Life Saving Award, distinguished recognition as a Pistol Expert, five PBA Awards, a Commendation Medal, six Command Citations, and a Knights of Columbus Award.  

Sgt. Todnic L. Stradford joined the Union Police Department on July 17, 2009.  He was raised in Vauxhall and graduated from Union High School in 1995.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2001, shortly after 9/11.  While in the Marine Corps, Stradford served two combat campaigns:  Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom from 2003-2005.  Stradford has been an honored recipient of numerous awards, citations and medals and was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant in 2006.

Throughout his career with the Union Police Department, Stradford has been assigned to the Patrol Division.  He has received specialized training to be recognized as one of the department's most dedicated Field Training Officers, with responsibilities and duties including providing guidance, training and evaluation of newly appointed police officers assigned to him.  Currently, Stradford serves as a member of PBA Local #69, the department's Honor Guard, and as an advisor to the department's Police Explorer Program.