By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Two new officers were sworn in to the Asbury Park police department and two officers promoted last week at a ceremony held in the council chambers.
Ryan Champouillon, 22, a city resident, who has been serving as a Class I officer in the city, was hired along with Samuel P. Griffeth, 23, also a city resident. Both will attend police academy classes and then enter field training programs.
Det. Sean. DeShader was promoted to sergeant and Det. Amir Bercovicz was promoted to lieutenant.
Deputy Police Chief David Kelso said Champouillon had great reviews from his supervisors. He was number one on the civil service test. His brother, Robert, is also a police officer in the city. He will attend a full 22-week class at Ocean County Police Academy. He attended Rutgers University. This is his first police position.
“I want to serve the community and make it a better place – an overall better city,” he said.
Griffeth, who has been with the city’s police force for two years, first as a Class I then a Class II officer, was number two on the civil service test. He will attend the Monmouth County Police Academy waiver class which is approximately three weeks long. He worked for the Demarest Police Department for a year and then joined the Asbury Park Police Department in August, 2016.
Griffeth attended the Passaic County Police Academy and is looking forward to having a permanent position in Asbury Park.
“I love it…to have an opportunity to make improvements to the quality of life in the city,” he said.
The starting salary for both new officers is $35,549.
Kelso described DeShader as an excellent employee.
“He never argues about anything. It’s a big loss to the detective department,” Kelso said.
DeShader was hired in 2008 and worked in various units including street crimes Unit and detective bureau. He will be assigned as a supervisor in the Patrol Division.
Bercovicz has been with the department since 1995 and served in many areas, Kelso said, including detective, street crimes, parking detail, community policing. He will serve as the day shift watch commander.
At the end of the ceremony Kelso asked those in attendance to look around the room at all of the officers present.
“It’s because of the hardworking men and women around this room that there has been an 11 percent drop in the crime rate during the first eight months of this year,” he said.
Kelso also said the violent crime rate is down this year as well.
The department now has a total of 91 officers.
He said having two additional police officers helps fill some gaps in some of the units.
“It allows us to fill units that needed to be filled,” he said.