By ED SALVAS
Neptune City Police Captain Matthew Quagliato is the new police chief of the borough, effective Jan. 1. He is the first police chief in the borough in nearly a decade.
Quagaliato, a member of the department since 1995, was sworn in at a special meeting of the Borough Council Dec. 27. Judge Mark Apostolou administered the oath of office to Quagliato.
Since 2010, the Neptune City P. D. has been run by Public Safety Director Edward Kirschenbaum who was appointed Jan. 1, 2010 with the understanding that he would help in the search for a chief. He retired from the force effective Dec. 31.
Addressing an overflow crowd at the municipal First Aid building last week Kirschenabum said Quagliato is “a fantastic officer and will be a great leader.” Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone, who was mayor of Neptune City at the time, acknowledged the hiring of a Public Safety Director was a controversial move, and naming a new chief took longer than expected, but he believes Quagliato is the right person for the job.
“We found the right man,” Arnone said.
Kirschenbaum thanked the council for allowing him to hire and run the department as he saw fit to keep the town safe.
Also at the meeting, Matthew Edwards was sworn in as a patrolman and became the newest member of the department. Edwards was previously an officer in Belmar. Patrolman Thomas Holmstedt was promoted to sergeant and Detective Sergeant Keith Mitchell was promoted to captain.
Monmouth County State Senator Vin Gopal and Freeholder Arnone each presented proclamations to the department “In recognition of outstanding service.” The overflow crowd included members of the Neptune City Police Department and retired members, their families and friends, and police officers from several other area departments.
The special meeting also featured the Jersey City Police Department’s Bagpipers, the Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore and the Port Authority of NY and NJ Drummers.