WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Surrounded by proud family members, friends and colleagues, the West Caldwell Police Department welcomed newly appointed probationary police officers, Michael John High and Anthony James Berardino, during Tuesday’s township council meeting.

Officer High is a long-time resident of West Caldwell and a 2015 graduate of Ramapo College and the Passaic Police Academy.  He is a member of the West Caldwell Fire Department, First Aid Squad and a former Glen Ridge police officer. High is following a family tradition, as his father James High is a retired deputy chief of the Fairfield Police Department.

Officer Berardino, a resident of Roseland, is a 2017 graduate of Montclair State University and a 2018 graduate of the Cape May Police Academy.

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“We have an excellent police department under Chief [Gerard] Paris and I wish our police officers to be safe and as you protect us every day, we pray God protects you,” said Mayor Joseph Tempesta as he swore in the department’s newest officers.

“We welcome Officer High and Officer Berardino to our department and I wish them a safe career as they help us provide services to our residents and visitors to our community,” said Paris.

In addition to the new police officers, two new firefighters joined the ranks of the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department.  Resolutions were unanimously passed that appointed Edward Malia and Jonathan Schlomann to the department. 

All members of the council welcomed the new police officers and the firefighters to the departments and wished them well.

Passed unanimously on second reading were two bond ordinances for capital improvements to the township: a bond in the amount of $3,679,590 for various capital improvements throughout the township and a second bond in the amount of $960,700 for improvements to the water utility services.

In other news, Councilman Joseph Cecere urged residents to take advantage of the many new and exciting programming taking place at the library.  Information can be found on the library’s Facebook page and the township’s website.

Councilwoman Kathy Canale reported that as of June 22 the township pool will be open full time and that the first gazebo concert will be held on June 28.  Councilman Michael Crudele reported that the Wi-Fi system at the pool has been upgraded and that discussions are taking place to try to procure transportation for senior citizen to the gazebo concerts. 

Tempesta reported an increase in voter turnout after moving the polling site out to Crane Mills.  The move was long overdue after being discussed on and off for 15 years, he said. 

He added that even with the primary vote that had recently taken place, which has notoriously low voter turn out, the move to the new site reflected an increase of approximately 60 voters for that district.  Tempesta commended the administrators from Crane Mills for their “wonderful assistance” and thanked township clerk Mary Donovan for all of her efforts on the transition.

The next council meeting will be held on July 10.