Of the 15 new cops hired , 11 are Kearny residents and four live in Newark. And, of the 10 new firefighters, six are Kearny residents and four are from Newark. Under a federal court consent decree, only Kearny and Newark residents are eligible to apply for police and firefighter positions.
Here are mini-profiles on the new police officers:
Jason Rodrigues, 22, a Kearny High School graduate who is studying criminal justice degree at Berkeley College, did security work for CSX and has been a Class 2 special officer for the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.
Jose Castillo, 26, of Newark, has a B.A. degree from Berkeley College and has worked for the past year as an Essex County corrections officer. Daniel Lopez, 20, is a KHS graduate who is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Bergen Community College.
Kyle Plaugic, 27, is a KHS alum who worked as a dispatcher for the Glen Ridge Police Department and for the KFD. He has a degree in business administration from Caldwell University.
Alan Stickno, 22, is a graduate of St. Peter’s Preparatory School, Jersey City, where he captained the ice hockey team, and he has completed a degree in criminal justice/sociology at Widener University in Chester, Pa.
Michael Alvarez, 21, is a KHS alum who worked as a loss prevention officer for Lowe’s Home Improvement in Paramus. He is enrolled in the criminal justice program at BCC.
David Bush, 21, is a KHS alum who is enrolled at Montclair University for a criminal justice degree. He was employed as a loss prevention officer at Kmart in Belleville.
Jonathan Dowie, 23, is a graduate of Hudson County High Tech High School, North Bergen, and a certified EMT who served with Kearny Ambulance Service. He has a criminal justice degree from Rowan University and is in the alternate route program at the Passaic County Police Academy.
John Donovan Jr., 30, is a KHS alum who has run his own commercial painting business. He has attended Ramapo College.
Darwin Paulino, 22, is a native of the Dominican Republic who lives in Newark where he graduated from University High School. A private 1st Class with the N.J. National Guard, he is enrolled at BCC for a criminal justice degree.
Michael Gontarczuk, 22, is a KHS graduate who completed a finance degree at Rutgers University but opted for a career in law enforcement.
Andre Fernandes, 26, is a resident of Newark where he graduated from Science Park High School. He has a degree in criminal justice from Rutgers and has worked as the manager of a Woodbridge T-Mobile.
Sean Wilson, 29, a KHS alum, has worked for the past six years as a Hudson County corrections officer.
Richard Poplaski, 23, a graduate of West Milford High School, is a lieutenant with the Kearny Ambulance Service and served with the West Milford Volunteer Fire Department.
Jose Perez Fonseca, 27, is a resident of Newark where he has worked as a parking violation officer. A graduate of Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, he has studied criminal justice at Essex County College.
And here are some minibiographies on the new firefighters:
Javier Fandino, 26, a KHS alum, studied engineering science at BCC. He was an East Newark volunteer firefighter for the past four years. A member of Operating Engineers Local 825, he has worked at the Kiewit/Woodbridge Energy Center.
Paul Logan, 23, is a KHS graduate who has a criminal justice degree from Berkeley College. He has worked for the TSA at Newark Airport for nearly a year.
Jason Montalvo, 33, lives in Newark where he graduated from Barringer High School. He has worked for Action Title Search in Rutherford.
Carlos Ramos, 36, is a Newark resident who is originally from Connecticut where he graduated from New Britain High School. He has worked for Marjam Supply, Kearny, as a boom driver.
Christian DiAmantino, 33, a KHS alum, studied audio engineering at the Institute of Audio Research, N.Y., and worked as a driver/warehouseman at Allied Beverage Co., Mt. Laurel.
Stephen Taylor, 24, a KHS graduate, is a certified EMT who has worked for the Kearny Ambulance Service. He has been a part-time dispatcher with the KFD and has worked as a public safety dispatcher with the Englewood Fire Department. He has attended Rutgers for two years.
Richard Caposeina, 26, is a Newark resident who graduated from Colonia High School and has a fire science degree from Middlesex County College. He has worked for Equistar Chemicals, Edison, as a process chemical operator.
Jeremy Kook, 33, a KHS alum, is certified as an automotive technician and has worked in that capacity for Paul Miller Bentley/Rolls Royce in Parsippany.
Joseph Gurkas, 24, a KHS graduate, has a teaching certificate from NJCU. He has served as a head swim coach for the Kearny Board of Education and as a swim coach/ lifeguard for the Kearny Recreation program.
Yamil Miranda, 26, is a resident of Newark. A graduate of Essex County Vo-Tech in Bloomfield, he worked for Greenfield Auto Service, Newark, as an office assistant.
– Ron Leir