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Long Branch Police Department Adds 5 To Its Roster

LONG BRANCH: The city's police department has grown over the last year and now has added five to its roster.

Long Branch Police Officers David Stone, Vincent Roselli, Omar Akel, Sergio Chaparro and Patrick Vaccaro were sworn in and received their badges at a ceremony at city hall on May 15.

"It's a good day and a proud day when we can swear in new officers," Long Branch Director of Public Safety Jason Roebuck said.

Vaccaro and Chaparro actually joined the department earlier this year and the others just graduated from the Monmouth County Police Academy, but the city wanted to wait to hold a ceremony until all five were ready.

Mayor Adam Schneider said he has known the new officers for a long time and even wrote a letter of recommendation for Roselli when he was applying to colleges.

"I feel a little like a proud parent," Schneider said. "There isn't one of these kids I haven't known since they were in high school or before."

The five new officers join the three that were added last August as the department continues to grow after several officers were let go four years ago.

The city cut 37 positions in 2011 including nine police officers in a cost cutting move that saved about $2.8 million. The department now has just under 90 officers.

The new officers will be hired through the use of a $625,000 grant from the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program the city received last year.

The grants go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

"They are a great addition to to our city and the public will be well served by them," Schneider said.

Read more from: Long Branch

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