Police & Fire

Township of Fairfield Promotes Five Police Officers

From left: Sgt. Frank Tracey, Sgt. John McGrory, Mayor James Gasparini, Sgt. Michael Nyhuis, Lt. Charles Zampino, and Lt. Daniel Dias. Credits: Gail Bottone
From left: Mayor James Gasparini, Sgt. Michael Nyhuis, his wife Jenn, and his three children Anthony, Karly, and Alana. Credits: Gail Bottone
From left: Mayor James Gasparini, Lt. Daniel Dias, Dena, his wife, and his children Gavin, Mia, and Dash. Credits: Gail Bottone
Sgt. Frank Tracey's girlfriend, Lisa, and family oversee as he takes his oath of office Credits: Gail Bottone
Mayor James Gasparini gives the oath of office to Sgt. John McGrory while his wife Mariah holds the Bible. Credits: Gail Bottone
From left: Mayor James Gasparini, Lt. Charles Zampino, Jennifer, his wife, and his sons Blake and Christian. Credits: Gail Bottone

FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield Police Department promoted five officers on Monday at the Fairfield Township Council meeting, where Chief of Police said these promotions will assist in a reorganization of the department.

The promotions include Sgt. Charles Zampino to the rank of lieutenant, Sgt. Danial Dias to the rank of lieutenant, Detective Michael Nyhuis to the rank of sergeant, Officer Frank Tracey to the rank of sergeant, and Detective John McGrory to the rank of sergeant.

With a lieutenant now being in charge of each of the department’s three divisions—patrol, investigative and administrative—Manna said the promotions will help with reorganizing as well as allow for a special enforcement unit to be created that will be used for targeted traffic and criminal enforcement.

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Fairfield Township Mayor James Gasparini spoke highly of all the men receiving promotions.

“They are a great group of guys who are over the top,” said Gasparini, adding that they have done a tremendous job over the years.

The mayor and council interviewed more than 18 people for the positions, according to Gasparini, who praised the entire police department.

Manna introduced each officer to the public before Gasparini gave the oath of office to each individual.

The municipal hall chamber was filled with family, friends, and co-workers who were there supporting the promotions.

The first officer to take the oath of office was Lt. Charles Zampino, who was joined by his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons, Christian and Blake. Upon his promotion, Zampino will be assigned as the investigative division commander.

Lt. Daniel Dias was joined by his wife, Dena, and his children Gavin, Mia, and Dash. Upon his promotion, Lt. Dias will be assigned as the patrol division commander.”

Sgt. Tracey was joined by his two children, Frankie and Leah as well as his girlfriend, Lisa, and her two children. Upon his promotion, Sgt. Tracey will be assigned to the patrol division as a squad supervisor.”

Sgt. Michael Nyhuis was joined by his wife, Jenn, and their three children, Alana, Karly and Anthony. Upon his promotion, Sgt. Nyhuis will be assigned to the patrol division as a squad supervisor.”

Sgt. John McGrory was joined by his wife Mariah. Together, they have a son, Desi, and are currently expecting their second child. Upon his promotion, Sgt. McGrory will be assigned to the patrol division as a squad supervisor.

About Lt. Zampino:

Lt. Zampino earned a bachelor degree in criminal justice from Jersey City State College in 1994 and started his law enforcement career with the Seaside Heights Police Department in 1998. According to Manna, Zampino graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy as a Class 2 special police officer on a Friday and was hired as a probationary officer by the Fairfield Police Department on the following Monday.

He was initially assigned to the patrol division where he became an emergency medical technician, field training officer, a member of the community policing unit, a founding member of the department’s honor guard, and a certified drug recognition expert, according to Manna. He was re-assigned to the investigative division as a detective in September 2004, where he served as both the juvenile and narcotics detective, and has been there ever since.

Zampino was promoted to the rank of sergeant in July 2012 and currently serves as the officer in charge of the investigative division.

He has been commended with 29 unit citations, six honorable service citations, two exceptional service citations, two chief’s certificate of recognition awards, one meritorious service citation and one lifesaving citation.

Additionally, he has received valor awards from the Essex County 200 Club and the Scottish Rite Valley of Northern NJ, and a special commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He is also a past recipient of the Knights of Columbus Shield Award.

About Lt. Daniel Dias:

Lt. Daniel Dias joined the Fairfield Police Department in Jan. 1999 after having earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island in 1995. He also attended Richmond University in London in 1995 as he was selected for an internship program with the United States Navy.

He graduated from the Essex County Police Academy in June 1999 earning his academy class physical fitness award. Upon graduation, he served in the patrol division until he was re-assigned to the investigative division as a detective in May of 2003. He was re-assigned back to the patrol division, eventually being promoted to the rank of sergeant in July of 2012. He currently serves as the officer in charge of the firearms training unit.

Lt. Dias has been commended with 11 unit citations, two exceptional service citations, one honorable service citation, and one criminal apprehension citation.

About Sgt. Frank Tracey:  

Sgt. Frank Tracey began his service in law enforcement in June of 2000 when he became a dispatcher with the Fairfield Police Department.

In Feb. 2001, he was hired as a police officer with the North Caldwell Police Department. He attended the Passaic County Police Academy where he was awarded a certificate from the Police Training Commission to the recruit, who in the opinion of classmates displayed those qualities of scholarship and leadership that are indicative of exceptional future professional performance. In Aug. 2004, Sgt. Tracey returned to the Fairfield Police Department as a police officer.

He was assigned to the patrol division where he served as a field-training officer, emergency medical technician, baton and defensive tactics instructor, and honor guard member, and as a police academy instructor in methods of instruction, a course that is required of any police officer who intends teaching police recruits.

In the past, Sgt. Tracey has served as a member of the former Essex/Union Auto Theft Task Force and has worked closely with the FBI in helping disrupt human trafficking in New Jersey.

In May 2015, Sgt. Tracey became the first officer in our department’s history to participate in the Police Unity Tour, a four-day bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to Washington, D.C. to honor those law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sgt. Tracey has been commended with three honorable service citations, two lifesaving citations, one unit citation, and one criminal apprehension citation. In addition, he was the recipient of the American Red Cross Heroes Award and the 2012 Mothers Against Drunken Driving Distinguished Service Award.

About Sgt. Michael Nyhuis:

Sgt. Nyhuis earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Rutgers University in 1998. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in human resources training and development from Seton Hall University in 2005.

He was hired by the Fairfield Police Department in Jan. 2002 and graduated from the Morris County Police Academy. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the patrol division where he became an emergency medical technician, a member of the traffic unit, and a firearms instructor.

In 2012, he was re-assigned to the investigative division as a detective. While there, he served as both the juvenile detective and the custodian of evidence.

Sgt. Nyhuis has been commended with eight unit citations, two honorable service citations, one chief’s certificate of recognition, and one lifesaving citation.

About Sgt. John McGroy:

Sgt. McGrory began his law enforcement career with the Fairfield Police Department in 2004 as a dispatcher. He was hired as a police officer in June 2005 and attended the Essex County Police Academy. He was assigned to the police division where he served as a member of the former Essex/Union Auto Theft Task Force, an emergency medical technician, and a field-training officer.

He was re-assigned to the investigative division as a detective in Jan. 2016 and is a member of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crime Task Force. Since July 2016, he was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force to assist in their efforts in combating the drug epidemic.

Sgt. McGrory has been commended with three lifesaving citations. In addition, he has received the American Red Cross Heroes Award and a special commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He is also a past recipient of the 2013 Mothers Against Drunken Driving Distinguished Service Award, and the 2013 Knights of Columbus Shield Award.

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