WESTFIELD, NJ — A 17-year-long veteran of the town’s police department has been appointed to the rank of lieutenant.

Marcin Kapka, who arrested an armed carjacking suspect after a high-speed chase in 2010, is anticipated to be formally sworn into his new role on March 10, police announced. Lieutenant Nicole Stivale, the highest ranking woman in the local police department’s history, also is slated be sworn in that night.

Kapka began his career with the Westfield Police Department in 2003 after graduating from the Union County Police Academy, police said. He served as a patrol officer until 2013 when he was assigned to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force where he was charged with conducting narcotics-related criminal investigations and granted the authority of a county detective, police said.

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Appointed sergeant in the Westfield Police Department in 2014, Kapka has since been assigned as a patrol supervisor and in February 2019 he was made an acting watch commander, police said.

“Lieutenant Kapka is a highly decorated officer, having been awarded the Westfield Police Department’s prestigious Medal of Valor for his Actions on July 9, 2010, which resulted in the arrest of an armed carjacking suspect following a dangerous high speed motor vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash in Union Township,” police said.

In that incident, Kapka “forcibly removed” the person from the vehicle through a smashed driver’s side window and found him in possession of a fully automatic MAC-10 submachine gun that had been used in the robbery, police said.

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For those actions, Kapka earned the Martin Wallberg American Legion Post #3 – Westfield, NJ Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Valor Award in 2011, police said. Kapka has also earned two medals of merit, four command citations, the Hurricane Sandy Service Award and two certificates of merit during his years of service, according to police.

Kapka holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Jersey City University. He served in the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2000, where he rose to the rank of corporal before his honorable discharge, police said.

He will remain assigned to the patrol division as watch commander, police said.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh