This page is dedicated to the men and women of the East Brunswick Department of Public Safety.  Each year the Department recognizes and honors its sworn and non-sworn personnel as a way to show it's gratitude for the dedication and hard work that they perform on a daily basis.  Although day in and day out the members of the Police Department show their true professionalism and dedication, certain incidents or investigations rise to the level of an award.  Each year personnel are nominated by their supervisors and then a review board makes the determination which incidents/investigations will receive a department award.

2018 PUBLIC SAFETY AWARD RECIPIENTS

CIVILIAN SERVICE AWARD
Vincent Heiry

From January to July of 2018, East Brunswick experienced a crime spree which was ultimately tied to one township resident.  This subject committed offenses ranging from the strong armed robbery of two citizens, the theft of two vehicles, burglarizing multiple vehicles and credit card fraud.

Several days after the second victim was robbed by the suspect, resident Vincent Heiry, observed the suspect walking in his neighborhood and alerted the East Brunswick Police via the 911 system.  Mr. Heiry maintained visual contact with the suspect providing constant updates of his location and clothing description until units arrived and ultimately took him into custody.

For his alertness, keen observations and willingness to assist the East Brunswick Police Department, which led to the arrest of a dangerous subject who preyed on victims in multiple jurisdictions, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Mr. Vincent Heiry with this Civilian Service Award.

CIVILIAN SERVICE AWARD
Megan Galla
Areli Aguilar-Torres

On February 15, 2018, three subjects were responsible for committing several bank frauds in towns nearby to East Brunswick.  The suspects, who were part of the Felony Lane Gang, would break into vehicles, remove personal belongings and disguise women to fraudulently drain victim’s bank accounts by using their stolen checkbooks.  As a result of these crimes, an alert was sent throughout the Provident Bank network describing the suspects.

A short time after the information was broadcast, observant bank employees, Megan Galla and Areli Aguilar-Torres, recognized a drive through customer and her vehicle matching the description.  While Ms. Galla stalled the transaction, Ms. Aguilar-Torres exited the bank and recorded the vehicle’s license plate. Although police units immediately responded, the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed.  East Brunswick Police units successfully apprehended the suspect a short time later after the vehicle became disabled as a result of being pursued. 

For their alertness, keen observations and willingness to assist the East Brunswick Police Department, which led to the arrest of a dangerous subject who preyed on victims in multiple jurisdictions, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Ms. Megan Galla and Ms. Areli Aguilar-Torres with this Civilian Service Award.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Matthew Egnasko

On June 1, 2018, Patrolman Matthew Egnasko was conducting a seatbelt enforcement detail along Route 18 South at which time he observed a driver pass by unrestrained.  As a result of the violation, a motor vehicle stop was conducted and the driver was approached.

While speaking with the driver, Officer Egnasko observed him to be extremely nervous and he was unable to produce any of his credentials.  Based on the driver’s behavior and failure to provide the required documentation, the driver was removed from the vehicle for further investigation.  As the driver exited, Officer Egnasko observed what appeared to be a holster concealed in the driver’s waistband.  A search was subsequently conducted and revealed that the male was in possession of a .40 caliber handgun which was loaded with hollow point bullets.

Through his sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the removal of an illegal handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Matthew Egnasko with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Detective Crispin Farrace
Detective Daniel Unkel

On November 27, 2018, the East Brunswick Police Department took a report of a missing adult male who could not be immediately located by responding units.  As a result of the circumstances, Detectives Crispin Farrace and Daniel Unkel began a follow-up investigation in an attempt to locate the missing individual.

Detective Farrace, utilizing numerous avenues to track the subject’s whereabouts, was able to map his location through a cellular device.  This location was an approximate 1000 foot radius in the area of the East Brunswick Walmart.  As units responded to the area, Detective Daniel Unkel located the subject’s vehicle in a nearby parking lot with the subject inside preparing to commit suicide.  Detective Unkel successfully took the subject into protective custody where he was then taken for medical treatment.

For their diligence, persistence and sound investigative skills, which directly led to the location of an individual who was prepared to take their own life, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Crispin Farrace and Detective Daniel Unkel with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Captain Daniel Melnick
Captain Joseph Alves
Patrolman Maria Herrera
Detective Joseph Bauer
Detective Alexander Danese

From January to July of 2018, East Brunswick experienced a crime spree which was ultimately tied to one township resident.  This subject committed offenses ranging from the strong armed robbery of two citizens, the theft of two vehicles, burglarizing multiple vehicles, and credit card fraud.

Several days after the second victim was robbed by the suspect, an alert resident observed the suspect walking in an area neighborhood and alerted police.  As units responded, Captains Joseph Alves and Daniel Melnick first observed the suspect and subsequently gave chase, eventually losing sight of him.  A short time later, Patrolman Maria Herrera located the suspect who fled for a second time.  Officer Herrera gave chase on foot for over one mile until he was eventually taken into custody in New Brunswick.   Detectives Alexander Danese and Joseph Bauer later interviewed the suspect where they were able to gain a full confession to all of the related incidents as well as to the robbery of a cab driver in the City of New Brunswick.

For their sound actions, rapid response, and ability to work cohesively as a team, which resulted in the arrest a violent offender, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Captain Joseph Alves, Captain Daniel Melnick, Patrolman Maria Herrera, Detective Alexander Danese, and Detective Joseph Bauer with this Unit Citation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Matthew Kole

On July 2, 2018, Patrolman Matthew Kole was on patrol in the area of Route 18 and West Ferris Street when he observed a vehicle commit several violations ahead of him.  As a result of the violations, a motor vehicle stop was conducted and the driver was approached.

Upon approaching the driver and asking for his credentials, Officer Kole detected an odor of burnt marijuana emanating from within the vehicle.  At this time the vehicle’s occupants were removed so a search could be conducted.  While searching one of the subjects, Officer Kole located a 9mm handgun loaded with hollow point bullets, which was later found to be stolen, concealed in their waistband, as well as a quantity of less than 50 grams of marijuana.

Through his sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the removal of an illegal handgun and illicit drugs from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Matthew Kole with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Matthew Kole
Patrolman Matthew Egnasko

On August 4, 2018, Patrolman Matthew Kole and Patrolman Matthew Egnasko were conducting a directed patrol in the area of Lakeview Avenue when they observed an occupied vehicle idling in front of a nearby residence.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the driver, who was visibly under the influence of a controlled substance, exited abruptly and approached the two officers.  Believing that additional contraband was concealed in the vehicle, the officers conducted a search of its interior which yielded two baggies of cocaine, six baggies of methamphetamine, one bottle of GHB, over four dozen controlled narcotic tablets, and assorted drug paraphernalia were recovered.

Through their sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the arrest of a suspected drug dealer and the removal of a large quantity of controlled substances from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Matthew Kole and Patrolman Matthew Egnasko with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Matthew Kole
Patrolman Robert Theoret

On May 11, 2018, Patrolman Matthew Kole and Patrolman Robert Theoret observed an occupied vehicle idling in the rear of 766 Highway 18 with the driver slouched up against the steering wheel.  Believing that the driver may have been ill or under the influence, the officers approached.

Upon speaking with the driver, the officers immediately detected the odor of raw marijuana emanating from within the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  Both the driver and a passenger were removed from the vehicle so that a search could be conducted.  As a result of that search, 2.2 pounds of marijuana, marijuana edibles and candies, THC oil and distribution materials were seized.

Through their sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the arrest of two suspected drug dealers and the removal of a large quantity of controlled substances from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Matthew Kole and Patrolman Robert Theoret with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Christian Longhitano 

On February 18, 2018, Patrolman Christian Longhitano was on patrol in the area of Route 18 North when he observed a vehicle ahead of him commit several traffic violations.  As a result of the infractions, Officer Longhitano stopped the vehicle and subsequently approached the driver.

While speaking with the driver, Officer Longhitano detected an odor of raw marijuana emanating from within the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  As a result of his observations, Officer Longhitano removed the driver and subsequently conducted a search of the vehicle’s interior.  As a result of the search, a quantity exceeding one pound of marijuana was recovered as well as distribution packaging materials and $1,200 in cash.

Through his sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the arrest of a suspected drug dealer and the removal of dangerous drugs from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Christian Longhitano with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Christian Longhitano 

On December 28, 2018, Patrolman Christian Longhitano was on patrol in the area of Route 18 South when he observed a vehicle operating ahead of him in an erratic manner.  Believing that the vehicle’s operator may have been ill or intoxicated, Officer Longhitano stopped it to investigate further.

Upon approaching the driver and asking for his credentials, the officer detected an odor of burnt marijuana emanating from within the vehicle.  After speaking with the driver and developing additional probable cause, Officer Longhitano removed him from the vehicle so a search could be conducted.  That search yielded a quantity of raw marijuana as well as a .40 caliber handgun loaded with hollow point bullets that had been concealed in the vehicle’s center console.

Through his sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the removal of an illegal handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Christian Longhitano with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Nicholas Mauro

On November 11, 2018, Patrolman Nicholas Mauro was on patrol in the area of Route 18 North when he observed a vehicle ahead of him commit several traffic violations.  As a result of the infractions, Officer Mauro stopped the vehicle and subsequently approached the driver.

While speaking with the driver, Officer Mauro detected an odor of raw marijuana emanating from within the passenger compartment of the vehicle.  As a result of his observations, Officer Mauro removed the driver from the vehicle so that a search could be conducted.  As the driver exited, he would not remove his hand from his jacket pocket and attempted to pull away from the officer.  The driver was subsequently taken into custody and was found to be concealing a loaded .32 caliber revolver in his jacket in addition to a quantity of marijuana. 

Through his sound use of proactive patrol techniques and quick reactions, which led to the arrest of a dangerous individual and the removal of an illegal handgun from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Nicholas Mauro with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Patrolman Robert Theoret
Patrolman Ryan Welch
Detective Crispin Farrace

On July 7, 2018, Patrolman Robert Theoret and Patrolman Ryan Welch were on patrol in the area of Route 18 and Eggers Street when they observed a vehicle ahead of them commit several traffic violations.  As a result of the observed violations, the officers stopped the vehicle and approached the driver. 

While speaking with the occupants, the officers detected an odor of raw marijuana emanating from the passenger compartment and as a result, a search was conducted which yielded approximately 17,000 various prescription narcotic pills, marijuana, cocaine, and suboxone strips.  In addition to the controlled substances, the officers also located packaging materials related to drug distribution as well as dark colored clothing, ski masks and latex gloves.  Further investigation indicated that the suspects had previously burglarized a pharmacy in Old Bridge prior to being stopped by them.  At this time, Detective Crispin Farrace was contacted to assist with the investigation and through his assistance, it was learned that a handgun was concealed in a hidden compartment within the vehicle.  As a result of this information, a search warrant was obtained and a loaded 9mm pistol that had been reported stolen was recovered in addition to cash, more controlled substances, and additional stolen proceeds.

Through their sound use of proactive patrol techniques and keen investigative skills, which led to the arrest of two burglars and suspected drug dealers and the removal of dangerous drugs and weapons from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Robert Theoret, Patrolman Ryan Welch, and Detective Crispin Farrace with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Detective Daniel Unkel
Detective Alexander Danese

Between May 1, 2018 and November 2, 2018, Detectives Daniel Unkel and Alexander Danese, assigned to the East Brunswick Police Special Investigations Unit, conducted two significant investigations, which resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of controlled substances and cash proceeds, which led to the arrest of multiple suspected drug dealers.

Detectives Unkel and Danese, during the course of lengthy narcotics investigations, were able to develop enough probable cause to execute search warrants in East Brunswick.  As a result of these investigations, over 200 bags of heroin, several ounces of marijuana, cocaine, hash wax, distribution materials, $22,000 cash and a vehicle valued at $9,300 were seized.

Through their sound use of investigative skills, which led to the arrest of multiple suspected drug dealers, the removal of controlled substances from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Daniel Unkel and Detective Alexander Danese with this Letter of Commendation.

LETTER OF COMMENDATION
Detective Daniel Unkel
Detective Crispin Farrace

On February 2, 2018, Detective Daniel Unkel and Detective Crispin Farrace were assigned to investigate a report of human trafficking involving a minor who had allegedly been forced into prostitution.  Additional information provided to the investigators indicated that two males were responsible for facilitating the offenses.

Detectives Farrace and Unkel identified the suspects through the gathering of witness statements and video surveillance, in addition to identifying a third suspect who was a prior sex offender from East Brunswick.  As a result of their collaborative investigation, which spanned several New Jersey counties, all three suspects, who provided detailed statements during custodial interviews, were arrested and charged with multiple first and second degree sex offenses.

Through their sound use of investigative skills, which led to the arrest of three dangerous sexual offenders, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Detective Daniel Unkel and Detective Crispin Farrace with this Letter of Commendation.

UNIT CITATION
Captain Daniel Melnick
Captain Joseph Alves
Lieutenant Michael Plaskon
Sergeant Robert Zielinski
Detective Daniel Unkel
Detective Dennis Chieffo
Detective Alexander Danese

On February 22, 2018, Captain Daniel Melnick, Captain Joseph Alves, Lieutenant Michael Plaskon and Detective Dennis Chieffo followed up on an anonymous tip that a male subject was dealing a large quantity of controlled substances from within an East Brunswick hotel room. 

The investigators immediately pursued an investigation into the information provided and were able to successfully corroborate it and identify a suspect.  Surveillance was immediately put in place as the male subject was due to check out of the hotel on the same day the information was validated.  In conjunction with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, additional information indicated that the suspect was known to carry a gun due to the large amounts of illicit drugs he was distributing as a result of direct shipments from Mexico.  As a result of the investigation, Sergeant Robert Zielinski, Detective Daniel Unkel and Detective Alexander Danese were able to secure and execute a search warrant at the suspect’s location.  As a result of that warrant, over 5 kilograms of cocaine and 13 pounds of marijuana were seized in addition to $60,000 in cash proceeds.

For their keen investigative abilities, rapid response, and ability to work cohesively as a team, which resulted in the arrest of a violent, high level drug dealer and the removal of dangerous drugs from the streets of East Brunswick, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Captain Daniel Melnick, Captain Joseph Alves, Lieutenant Michael Plaskon, Sergeant Robert Zielinski, Detective Dennis Chieffo, Detective Daniel Unkel and Detective Alexander Danese with this Unit Citation.      

UNIT CITATION
Patrolman Ryan Welch
Patrolman Robert Theoret
Patrolman John Hoernlein
Patrolman Christian Rodriguez
Detective Kimberly DiParisi

On October 10, 2018, multiple East Brunswick Police Patrol Units responded to the area of Pine Ridge Drive on a report of a suspicious male who had been observed in the area via a security camera.  As units began to arrive, Patrolman Ryan Welch and Patrolman Robert Theoret began searching for the suspect at which time they located a female subject on Pine Ridge Drive who was visibly nervous when approached.

The officers, believing that the female may be associated with the suspicious male, questioned her further and determined that they had in fact burglarized several unoccupied vehicles throughout the neighborhood.  After this information was relayed to the other units in the area, Patrolman John Hoernlein and Patrolman Christian Rodriguez located the male subject who was hiding in the backyard of a local residence.  After the subjects were taken into custody, Detective Kimberly DiParisi conducted a follow-up investigation and determined that they had committed seven additional motor vehicle burglaries and thefts throughout East Brunswick.

For their sound actions, rapid response, and ability to work cohesively as a team, which resulted in the arrest of two criminal offenders, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Ryan Welch, Patrolman Robert Theoret, Patrolman John Hoernlein, Patrolman Christian Rodriguez and Detective Kimberly DiParisi with this Unit Citation.