Township gets 3 new cops

LYNDHURST – 

The Lyndhurst Police Department has three new members. Officers Michael LeStrange, Steve Batista and John DeCamp were sworn in last Monday, Jan. 12, at Town Hall ceremonies with Police Chief James O’Connor and Public Safety Commissioner John Montillo Jr. presiding.

On Jan. 23, Batista and DeCamp were scheduled to begin their 22 weeks of training at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Complex in Mahwah and, if successful, should be available for duty on June 19, at which point they’ll be assigned to field training officers (FTO) who will teach, guide and evaluate them for up to six months, according to O’Connor.

LeStrange, meanwhile, is currently enrolled in the Essex County Police Academy as an alternate route candidate and is expected to graduate next month and be assigned to an FTO and report for patrol duty.

Batista, 30, a Lyndhurst High School alumnus, is the department’s first combat veteran hired since 2003. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps after having served three combat tours in Iraq and he holds numerous decorations, medals and citations for his actions during deployment. Batista has advanced training in weapons, self-defense and team building.

LeStrange, 30, has seen prior service as a Paterson PD Auxiliary, Ridgefield Park PD dispatcher and Federal Reserve Police Officer. He holds numerous law enforcement training certificates and is now doing his alternate route training in Essex County. He has an associate degree from Bergen County Community College.

DeCamp, 22, is a Becton Regional High School graduate, has a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from Montclair State University and is a volunteer coach for a variety of youth sporting programs.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff