EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor and Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley joined with the East Orange City Council to host a promotion ceremony for the 16 police officers and six firefighters from East Orange promoted to higher ranks in their respective organizations’ chains of command on Thursday, Sept. 22.
The 2016 East Orange Police Department honorees included Capts. Berkley Jest and Darryl Wright; Lts. Wayne Adams, Ibn Shaheed Barnes-Howard, Reginald Butts, Ericka Horsley, Tinca Robinson and Felix Torres; and Sgts. Georges Destin, Leo Filev, Jason Hamilton, Althea Hudson, Epifanio Mendez, Anthony Peters and Tanya Pulyado. The 2015 East Orange Police Department honoree was Capt. Hector Rodriguez.
The 2016 East Orange Fire Department honorees were Capt. Rashim Carter, Gareth McAuley, Richard Robinson, Tyrone Turner, Stanley White and Kobie Sanders. Sanders’ promotion was posthumous, as he died earlier this year, after a prolonged battle with cancer.
This marks the second ceremony for the consolidated East Orange Public Safety Department, which consists of the divisions of police, fire, emergency management and animal control.
“I think it was a well-deserved honor in his behalf,” said 5th Ward Councilwoman Alicia Holman of Sanders’ promotion. She serves as chairwoman of the governing body’s Public Safety Committee, on Tuesday, Sept. 27. “I think it was the right thing to do. He was going to be promoted, but I think it was a nice thing to do because he earned it. His family was happy to see it; the men and women in the department were happy to see it; it was just a good overall thing.”
Holman also said she was glad about the East Orange Police Department promotions, too. She said it’s a sign the department is headed in the right direction with Coley and new acting Police Chief Phyllis Bindi.
Bindi is technically the city’s first female deputy police chief, following her promotion on Thursday, Sept. 22. As the ranking officer in the East Orange Police Department, that makes her the senior officer in charge.
“I’m very happy about the promotions,” said Holman on Tuesday, Sept. 27, about the first-ever female deputy police chief, adding that “No one’s being stunted in their growth. But we need to do more hiring. We need more sergeants. I credit the new director in seeing what the department needs and going ahead with it.”
Mayor Taylor agreed with Holman, saying all the promotions were well-deserved, and Coley echoed his sentiments.
“I commended the promotees for their commitment, dedication and selflessness in making East Orange a safer place to live, work and play,” said the mayor Thursday, Sept. 22.