Police & Fire

Township of West Caldwell Promotes Five Police Officers

Cpt. Dennis Capriglione, Lt. Shaun O’Dowd, Lt. Paul Vanikiotis, Sgt. Brian Joy and Sgt. Patrick Cooper promoted within West Caldwell Police Department Credits: Danielle Santola
Cpt. Dennis Capriglione and family Credits: Danielle Santola
Lt. Shaun O’Dowd and family Credits: Danielle Santola
Lt. Paul Vanikiotis and family Credits: Danielle Santola
Sgt. Brian Joy and family Credits: Danielle Santola
Sgt. Patrick Cooper and family Credits: Danielle Santola

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Five members of the West Caldwell Police Department (WCPD) were promoted to new ranks during a swearing-in ceremony at the West Caldwell Township Council meeting on Tuesday.

Among those promoted were newly appointed Cpt. Dennis Capriglione, Lt. Shaun O’Dowd, Lt. Paul Vanikiotis, Sgt. Brian Joy and Sgt. Patrick Cooper.

“Congratulations to all of the promotees tonight,” said West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta. “I also want to thank all of the men in blue, all of our fire department members and our first aid squad members. You keep our community safe, you protect us from harm and we thank each and every one of you.”

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The promoted officers were joined by family members as they swore to support the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey; to bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the governments established in the United States under the authority of the people; and to faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of their new position to the best of their ability.

Many members of the police department as well as community leaders like Superior Court Judge Bridget Stecher, Superior Court Judge Thomas Callahan, former police captain Robert Haines, two former police chiefs, former councilmen and others also attended in support of the department.

Cpt. Capriglione joined the WCPD in July 2000 following his graduation from Kean University and the Morris County Police Academy’s 56th class in December of 2000. In 2006, he was assigned as a corporal in a patrol division and then assigned to the detective bureau in November of 2009. In September of 2010, he graduated from the 38th class of Top Gun and was subsequently promoted to the rank of sergeant and then lieutenant.

Lt. ODowd was assigned as a corporal in the patrol division in 2005 and became a detective in 2006. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2011. He graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2011 and earned a bachelor degree in criminal justice from Thomas Edison University. O’Dowd is currently completing his master’s degree in homeland security from the same. He is now assigned to the patrol division as platoon commander.

Lt. Vanikiotis graduated from West Orange High School in 1988 and received an associate’s degree and then a bachelor’s degree in business management from the County College of Morris and Kean University, respectively. He was hired by the Roseland Police Department in 1996 and graduated from the Essex County Police Academy in June of the same year. While in Roseland, he served as a D.A.R.E and was assigned to the traffic bureau. In 2003, he was hired by the WCPD and was subsequently promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2011.

Sgt. Joy graduated from West Essex High School in 1989 and attended the Essex County College West Caldwell branch, where he received an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He was hired by the WCPD in 1998 and graduated the State Police Academy in Sea Girt, NJ. Joy was assigned to be the D.A.R.E. officer in 2005 and to be the school resource officer at James Caldwell High School in 2013.

Sgt. Cooper graduated from the County College of Morris in 2002 and received an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He then attended the Morris County Police Academy and was hired by the WCPD in 2006, where he was assigned to the patrol division. He became a member of the Emergency Services Unit in 2013, was assigned as a field-training officer in 2014, and was assigned to the detective bureau in 2015. He is now assigned to the patrol division as a supervisor.

Later in the evening, members of the council took turns congratulating the promoted officers and wishing them well in their new roles. 

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