Plumsted Police have hired two new officers and promoted three others as they continue to protect township residents.

The Township announced that Patrolmen Frank Murphy, Anthony Covone and Gary Schaal were promoted to sergeant while Kevin Leonard and Nicholas Lugo have been hired as patrolmen.

Mayor Jack Trotta, members of the Township Committee and the Plumsted Police Department with Police Chief Earl Meroney, Jr. took part in a special ceremony on September 12 welcoming the new police officers and honoring those promoted.

Township Clerk, Jennifer Witham administered their oaths of office in front of family, friends, police personnel and Township Deputy Mayor Erik Sorchik and Committeemen Herb Marinari and Leonard Grilletto.

Let's meet the officers:

Sgt. Frank Murphy completed the Ocean County Police Academy in 2000 after attending Ocean County College and Seton Hall University.

He began his career as an officer with the Seaside Heights Police Department and joined the Plumsted Police Department in 2001.

He will be assigned as the department’s supervising evidence officer, field training officer and press information officer.

Sgt. Anthony Covone earned his associate’s degree from Ocean County College and graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy in 2004.

Prior to being hired with the Plumsted Township Police Department he worked as a Class I and II officer for Ship Bottom Police Department.

Sgt. Covone will be assigned as the department’s accreditation manager, vehicle maintenance officer and press information officer.

Sgt. Gary Schaal completed the Ocean County Police Academy in 2008 and began his career as a Class I and II officer for the Seaside Heights Police Department.

He was later hired by the Plumsted Police Department in 2010.

He will be assigned as the agencies supervising firearms instructor, less lethal instructor and field training officer.

Patrolman Kevin Leonard who is a Manahawkin resident graduated from Barnegat Township High School in 2011.

He attended The Ocean County Police Academy and graduated in May of 2019.

Leonard previously worked for the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department.

Within the hiring process, Leonard excelled in the oral boards and background investigation earning him one of the top two overall spots.

He will be assigned to a Field Training officer for an eight-week field training and evaluation program.

Patrolman Nicholas Lugo who is a Berkeley Township resident graduated from Toms River High School North in 2011.

He attended Ocean County College and currently attends Kean University pursuing his bachelor’s degree.

Lugo worked for the Berkeley Township Police Department and graduated from the
Ocean County Police Academy in May of 2017.

He also excelled in the oral boards, and background investigation earning him one of the top two overall spots. Lugo will be assigned to a field training officer for an eight-week field training and evaluation program.

“This proud day would not be possible without the continued support of Mayor Trotta and the Township Committee," Chief Meroney said. "With sincerity and appreciation, we thank them for their continued support of our Police Department and its members. We wish the new sergeants and newly hired officers the best of luck in the next chapters of their careers."

Mayor Trotta said he was “extremely proud of our police department and its
members. This department has come a long way under the leadership of Chief Meroney along with Lieutenant Reilly. We couldn’t ask for a finer group of officers. Congratulations to our new sergeants and new officers.”

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