UNION, NJ – Three retiring Union police officers had their final walkout Wednesday morning with peers, family and friends on hand to wish them well.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this Police Department,” said Deputy Mayor and Police Commissioner Joseph Florio.  “These three individuals retiring today are a part of what makes the department so great.   I wish them the best in their retirement”.

Police Officer Paulette Simmons joined the Union Police Department on July 30, 1993 and was assigned to the Patrol Bureau.  She is a graduate of Union High School.

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“With her gentle heart, kind and generous spirit, and infectious laugh and smile, Officer Simmons has dedicated over 25 years of service to the Township of Union Police Department,” said Union Police Director Dan Zieser.  Simmons received a Certificate of Recognition in March 1996.  She is married and the mother of four daughters. 

Zieser said during her service, Simmons became a dedicated police officer on the night shift patrol and later became a fixture at Headquarter’s front window.   She was a part of the Law Enforcement Explorer Program, attended and assisted with countless Explorer meetings and outings. 

“Reliable, dependable, supportive, protective and most of all comforting,” is how Zieser described Simmons.  “On behalf of the Township of Union Police Department, we say thank you and job well done.  You will be deeply missed by all.  We wish you the very best in your retirement.”

Police Officer Christopher Argast has 25 years of service to the Township of Union Police Department.  Argast graduated from Union High School and joined the department in the Patrol Bureau on July 29, 1994, at 19 years old, said Zieser.

Argast was part of the Street Crimes Unit, EMT Team, Honor Guard and the Union Center Post assignment foot patrol interacting with residents and business owners.

“Christopher always greets you with a smile, insuring a friendly police presence,” said Zieser.  Argast received multiple commendation medals, command citations, unit citations, PBA awards and the department’s Certificate of Recognition. 

“Known for his quiet strength and reserved demeanor, Christopher is widely respected by his peers, colleagues and community,” added Zieser.  “On behalf of the Township of Union Police Department, we offer you our sincerest thanks and gratitude for your service.”

Lieutenant Robert Christie has over 30 years of service in the Union Police Department.  He was born and raised in Union, a graduate of Union High School, Union County College and Kean University.

Zieser said Christie began in the Union Police Department during the mid-1980s as a part-time Special Police Officer and joined full-time in February 19980 with the Patrol Bureau.  Zieser said Christie is a “multitasker, jack-of-all-trades, who wore many hats throughout his career”, including teaching in the DARE program, acting as the first aid squad liaison, Director of the Law Enforcement Explorer Post.  In 1997, he was promoted to Sergeant. 

Christie is a certified instructor at the John H. Stamler Police Academy, a staff instructor at the Union Police Department, a CPR instructor, and a certified crime prevention officer.  He was promoted to lieutenant in July, 2013.

Christie served on Municipal Drug Alliance and Alcohol Abuse Committee, the New Jersey DARE Officers Association, the Union County DARE Officers Association, PBA Local 69, and the New Jersey Explorer’s Advisors Association.  Throughout his career, Christie has received numerous commendations and recognitions, including departmental Certificates of Recognition, Distinguished Service Awards, an award from the Union Township Chamber of Commerce, and a Union County Freeholder’s Resolution.

 “Lt. Christie, thank you for your longevity, leadership, dedication, said Zieser.  "On behalf, we wish you the very best.”