Harrison hires 9 new officers, now has total of 58 cops

Harrison has added nine new police officers and of that group, three are already trained and ready to begin their probationary status on the streets, Chief David Strumolo said.

The nine officers include Brian Fisher, Salomon Philippe and Alyson Toman — who are ready to hit the streets — and Steven Nash Jr., Nicole Yamuca, Michael O’Donnell, Juliette Wilson, Santiago Gomez and Zachary Simpson, who will head to the police academy next week.

The nine were recently sworn-in, but there will be another ceremony at the next Harrison Town Council meeting, slated for July 11.

And there’s further good news — the new officers will bring the town’s total number of sworn police to 58, thanks to the mayor and Town Council expanding the department’s table of organization. This was a goal Strumolo set when he was first sworn-in as chief. And it’s a promise kept.

“Of the nine new officers, three of them are already PTC (Police Training Commission) certified, which means they will be immediately deployed on the streets,” Strumolo said. “After a couple of days on an administrative schedule where they received all required equipment computer systems training and uniforms, they are now entering our field-training program.

“They are assigned to a FTO (field-training officer) who will work alongside them, providing specific training in all aspects of police work for several weeks. Once they become proficient at performing the specific job functions required to meet our high standards, the officers will be deployed within our patrol division.”

As for the others not yet trained, they have a little more work to do first.

“The other six newly hired officers are currently assigned an administrative schedule, where they will receive pre-academy training before entering the Hudson County basic police academy class beginning in July,” the chief said.

Harrison Third Ward Councilman Larry Bennett says he’s thrilled knowing nine new officers will soon be patrolling the town’s streets.

“Along with the chief, we all pledged to increase our numbers for the department,” Bennett said. “With the growth in population, we knew it had to be done and I am very happy to see the reality that there will be 58 total officers in the HPD. They’re all doing a fantastic job and I am absolutely sure the new officers will do the very same — and that is, serving our department and town faithfully and impeccably.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.