FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna commended 11 police officers at Monday’s township council meeting for actions taken during three separate incidents involving the seizure of guns.

“I am so very proud of the great work of these officers in removing three illegal handguns from motorists traveling through our town,” said Manna. “They all embody the strong work ethic, bravery and dedication to duty, which is the hallmark of Fairfield officers.”

Manna especially commended one of the newest police department officers, Officer Jayson Sickles, for seizing two handguns in less than a week.

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Sgt. Frank Tracey, Officers Thomas Myers, Jeffrey Dean, James High, Jr., Frank Patierno and James Ciampi received unit citations for their actions on Nov. 17.

On that night, a tractor-trailer driver, who was on Route 80 in Fairfield, reported that a motorist had pointed a handgun at him. The caller described the vehicle and suspect, as well as describing the handgun.

The officers began to search for the suspect’s vehicle, and “their patience paid off, as approximately 30 minutes later, the suspect’s vehicle passed their location,” Manna said.

“A high-risk motor vehicle stop was initiated, and the suspect was taken into custody without incident,” said Manna. “Recovered in the vehicle were a loaded Glock handgun and a quantity of narcotics.”

Officer Jayson Sickles received an honorable service award, and Officers Sean McCormack and Steven Ptaszynski received a unit citation for an incident that occurred on Dec. 26.

During a motor vehicle stop on Route 46 West for a traffic violation, a loaded handgun with hollow point bullets was recovered and the suspect, a resident of Texas, was arrested. 

For another incident that occurred on Dec. 31, Sickles received an honorable service award, and Sgt. Christopher Niemiec and Officers Stacy Chiarolanza and Ptaszynski received unit citations for an arrest of a driver with a loaded handgun.

After Sickles stopped a vehicle for a motor vehicle violation, Niemiec, Chiarolanza, and Ptaszynski arrived as backup, according to Manna. Six individuals occupied the vehicle, and the driver did not have a valid driver’s license.

“Further investigation revealed a loaded and stolen Colt .45 caliber handgun with hollow-point bullets and a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” said Manna. “It also was determined that the driver was a convicted felon and was wanted by Indiana authorities for drug offenses and was listed as being armed and dangerous.”