IRVINGTON, NJ — The city’s police department turned out in force to see 23 of its own promoted in Council Chambers on Friday, Oct. 25, along with friends and family.
Among those promoted, Capt. Monique Smith became the first woman to serve as deputy chief in the township.
“Congratulations to Monique Smith, who was promoted to deputy police chief,” said Mayor Tony Vauss in a quote sent to the Irvington Herald on Monday, Oct. 28. “She is the first female to be honored in the long and storied history of the department.”
Also honored at the ceremony were new Deputy Chiefs Kenneth Price, Harold Wallace and Stewart Townsend; Capts. Franciszek Piwowarczyk, Elijah James and Mark Green; Lts. Quaasim Austin-Turner, Jaime Velez, Taj Jackson, Charles Capers, Jesse Eatman and Glenise Wilson; and Sgt. Juan Owens, Malik Sims, Gregory Mitchell, Ira Hooper, Shynell McCall, Shaun Green, Mitchell Molina, Christopher Jenkins, Leah Edrington and Stanton Holder.
“I feel excited,” Austin-Turner told the Irvington Herald in a phone interview on Monday, Oct. 28. “I came up pretty high on the list of promotions and I was waiting on the mayor’s call for the promotion. I’m just really excited to get to the next level.”
In addition to attending the event, the mayor helped with the swearing-in duties.
“I’m so proud of our officers’ achievements that I’m going to scream it out loud to the whole world,” Vauss said. “A promotion comes along with new challenges and tasks. I am sure they will manage those without a problem. As they seek new challenges and make their dreams come true, may this awarding be a reminder of all that you can do.”
“Now that they have been promoted,” he continued, “I look forward to a better Irvington for us all. Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools. It takes perseverance and self-discipline to get to the next level of your career. Many people dream, some try, but only few achieve. Keep up the good work and always do your best.”
The event was a history-making, joyous event for all that was promoted,” said Irvington Township Council President Renee C. Burgess, one of several council members to attend the event, in a quote sent to the Irvington Herald on Tuesday, Oct. 29. “Their time, dedication, sacrifice and passion to serve as Irvington’s finest has made this city one of the safest in the U.S. I would like to thank and congratulate each one of them for their significant accomplishments. May God bless all of the honorees and their families and keep them safe always.”
“The promotional ceremony went well,” said Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers, who was also at the promotion ceremony, in a quote sent to the Irvington Herald on Monday, Oct. 28. “The promotions will allow us to provide supervision and guidance to our young officers. The end result are better officers to provide better service for our residents, business owners and those who visit our township.”
Photos by EmilyAnn Jackman