WAYNE, NJ – Acting Wayne Police Chief Jack McNiff had the honors on Wednesday night at the Wayne Town Council Meeting, introducing the four Wayne Police officers who were officially being sworn in as Sergeants in the Wayne PD.
Wearing his dress whites, Chief McNiff came up to the podium at the front of the Wayne Town Council Chambers and addressed the Council, the Administration and the huge crowd that filled the chamber.
“Good evening. It is my honor to present four great police officers being promoted from acting Sergeant to permanent Sergeant status,” said McNiff with pride and a beaming smile.
Mcniff then introduced and provided a brief background on each officer before they came to the front of the chamber surrounded by friends and family while Mayor Chris Vergano happily swore each officer in.
The Four Sergeants promoted were:
- Sergeant Vincent Ricciardelli
- Sergeant Doug Itjen
- Sergeant David Hoppe
- Sergeant Mark DuBois
The backgrounds of each officer are provided at the end of this article.
Vincent “Vinnie” Ricciardelli was the first officer called to the front of the room.
Vergano admitted that he knew Ricciardelli since before he was born. “His mother and I were partners on the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad,” said Vergano. “That’s how long we go back.”
“It’s hard to believe that he was referred to, for so many years, as Minnie Vinnie,” said Vergano. The audience in the chamber broke out in laughter, seeing the large, broad-shouldered Ricciardelli standing over the Mayor. “We couldn’t be prouder of him tonight. I know his parents are proud, as are all of the members of the fire company here tonight.”
“Before I do the swearing in,” said Vergano, “I want to say a few words about the police officers here tonight.” Almost every seat in the chamber was filled, and police officers, firefighters and members of the first aid squad ringed the entire curving backwall of the large room.
“I look around the room and see many new faces. We have hired thirty-two individuals in the last two years,” continued the Mayor. “Which means we’ve had a lot of retirements and lost a lot of experience, and we want to thank those retired officers who are here tonight.”
Loud applause echoed throughout the curved room.
Vergano finished with: “And to the one-hundred and fourteen members of the Wayne Police Department, and many of them are here tonight, we just want to say Thank You on behalf of the Township of Wayne for all you do to keep our community safe. We know you are out there twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred and sixty-five days of the year protecting our residents, our businesses, our families and our homes, so Thank You.”
More applause filled the room. Then each officer was introduced by McNiff and sworn in by Vergano.
After the ceremony, President of the Wayne Town Council, Joe Scuralli spoke: “I want to offer on behalf of the entire Wayne Town Council our heartfelt congratulations to you. Tonight, you made the greatest police force in the State of New Jersey, just a little bit greater.”
“It means the world to us to have four of you working in Wayne, keeping us safe and allowing us to sleep peacefully at night,” said Scuralli to end the ceremony.
As quoted by Wayne Police Chief Jack McNiff:
Vincent “Vinnie” Ricciardelli
- Graduated from New Jersey City University with a degree in Fire Science and Professional Security. He then attended the Passaic County Police Academy, graduating in 2009. He was originally hired by the city of Paterson as a police officer, then joined the Wayne Township Police Department in October of 2010.
- He was promoted to Detective in 2016 and assigned to the Narcotics unit. Was promoted to Acting Sergeant in May of 2019He was recently re-assigned as acting Detective Sergeant in the Investigative Division.
- He is a certified as a New Jersey State EMT, an Arson Investigator and has attended several training programs specializing in narcotics, undercover investigations and major crime investigations. Vin is a resident of Wayne Township and is a volunteer firefighter with Wayne Fire Company #3 for the past seventeen years, where he joined as a junior firefighter at the age of fifteen.
Douglas “Doug” Itjen
- Graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.
- He attended the Essex County Police Academy, graduating in February of 2007 with the highest academic average in the class.
- His police career began with the Wyckoff Police Department in July of 2008 and was hired by the Wayne Police Department in 2015. He was assigned to the Traffic Bureau and subsequently promoted to Acting Sergeant in June of 2019.
- He is a Firearms Instructor, a member of the Honor Guard, Marine Unit, Lead Instructor and Instructor at the Passaic County Police Academy.
- He is started his career as a Wayne Police Officer in 1995 after attending the Passaic County Police Academy.
- During his time on the force, he became a certified DARE Instructor, and member of the Marine Unit. He was assigned to the Detective Bureau in 2002 as a School Resource Officer where he was assigned to work at Schulyer-Colfax Middle School and Wayne Hills High School.
- Sergeant DuBois organized and coordinated community events, including his participation in the Mayor’s Forum, Wayne Alliance Basketball, the Wayne Police Junior Police Academy and the Drug Transition Program.
- Sergeant DuBois, his Father, Retired Captain Ory DuBois, and his Brother, Sergeant Daniel DuBois have together, served the Wayne Police Department and the Township of Wayne for a total of ninety years.
- He has also volunteered his time at events and coaching for the last twenty-five years for the Township, which he continues to do at this time.
- He graduated in 2008 in the one-hundred and first class of the Bergen County Police Academy.
- He was hired by the Wayne Police Department in December of 2008. In 2015, Hoppe was assigned to the newly formed Enforcement Unit. In 2016, he and other members of the Enforcement Unit were recognized as Officers of the Year by the Knights of Columbus for their proactive enforcement efforts.
- In 2017, he was transferred to the Detective Bureau. During this time Sergeant Hoppe was assigned to the 2013 Cold Case which involved an armed robbery that occurred in Gencarelli’s Bakery. He was able to identify and receive indictments for each of the four actors responsible for the robbery.
- In June of 2019, Sergeant Hoppe was promoted to his current rank serving in the Parole Division and then the Records Bureau.