As reported by NJ.com, fourteen (14) Trenton police officers were promoted on Monday during a subdued City Hall ceremony. The officers raised their right hands and took oaths to become sergeants, lieutenants, captains without family and friends in the audience. The only attendees were fellow officers, who leaned against the wall and took occasional pictures with their phones. The promotions were done without fanfare because the police department just received the go-ahead certifications from the State and Police Director Ernie Parrey said he wanted to get the officers into new roles.
Some of the promotions were for officers reclaiming ranks they lost during the mass layoffs and demotions in the police force in 2011. The six officers who received sergeant badges were provisional appointments, partially due to a federal consent decree. “It’s an epic day for us to say the least,” Parrey said. “Now we have to go out and do the jobs we have.” Parrey said the promotions marked a “new day” for the department and promised the officers a more formal ceremony in the near future, with their families and the usual pomp.
Parrey said he contacted the Civil Service Commission about the promotions and receive the approvals necessary. The sergeants from the priority list are: Howard Watkins, Jr., James Taliaferro III and Bethesda Stokes. Re-promoted provisionally to sergeant were: Johnny Coe, Jr., Marshall Rivera, and Christopher Kolodziej. The lieutenants promoted Monday all previously held that rank prior to the layoffs and demotions. They are Kenneth Zahn, David Cruz, and Leonard Sutton Jr. and Christopher Doyle.
Don Fillinger, Mark Kieffer, Jr., Anthony Pasqua, and Edelmiro Gonzales Jr. all became captains Monday and will hold command positions. Kieffer will head the patrol bureau, Pasqua the administration bureau, Fillinger the detective bureau and Gonzales will continue as chief of staff and will also command communications as well.
“We are striving for a Trenton Police Department that reflects in the rank-and-file and command structure the diversity of our capital city, and this work continues,” Mayor Eric Jackson said in a release. “Our police force is among the best in America and I am delighted to elevate these men to their new ranks, particularly as we work to strengthen the department’s relationship with our communities.”