The Longport Police Department Wednesday, Dec. 19 promoted two officers to the rank of sergeant.
Officers Ray Burgan and Nicholas Rettino took their oaths of office administered by Mayor Nichola Russo. Family members and fellow police officers packed commission chambers to witness the milestone.
Russo, who also had a career in law enforcement, said the process of obtaining a promotion is very rigorous and includes oral and written examinations, meeting minimal educational requirements and years of service. He described the “feeling of pride” officers feel when they don their uniforms to serve the public.
“The rank of sergeant…is a very, very important job,” Russo said. “It’s the job that sets the tone for any large or small department. They are who the officers see every day and they look to them for direction, guidance and as role model. They will do what they see their superior officers do.”
Police Chief Frank Culmone called Burgan and Rettino the “Mike Trout’s” of the department.
“In a spirit of teamwork, they collaborate and work together to help each other out, and that’s what police work is all about,” Culmone said.
Burgan has been with the department since 2012 and Rettino joined the force the following year. Both officers were instrumental in a major arrest last year that resulted in the prosecution of two individuals, one of whom was charged with attempted murder for an incident in Atlantic City, the day before the arrest.
“They are both high performers, college educated and leaders among their peers,” Culmone said. “They take initiative and represent the vision we have for the Police Department.”
The department has 13 full-time officers and one part-time special officer. Starting in January, the department will go to 12 hour shifts. Burgan and Rettino will each lead one of four squads, Culmone said.