Sheriff Swears in New and Promoted Officers

Awards Also Presented


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SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano held a swearing-in ceremony Jan. 17 for newly hired and promoted officers.  Superior Court Judge Kathy Qasim administered the oaths in the historic courthouse on East Main Street.

Sheriff Provenzano announced 11 promotions in the Sheriff’s Office and two new hires in the Corrections Division, and presented two recognition awards.

“I am very proud of the men and women who work tirelessly to maintain and enhance the county’s safety and reputation,” said Sheriff Provenzano. “We are known for providing excellent support to all county law enforcement, and protecting our residents.  One of the primary reasons for our success is that we have a stellar department with a team of highly-skilled officers.”

Promoted personnel include:

Corp. Clarence Anthony – Employed with Somerset County for 21 years, he began his career as a 911 dispatcher. He then transferred to the Somerset County Corrections Division. He is a firearms instructor with a factory-certified armor for Smith & Wesson and Colt firearms. He also received a Life Saving Award, has served as a P.B.A. Local No. 177 president, and was a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. Currently, he is a Senior Classification Officer.

Sgt. Miriam Beteta –  An 11 year veteran with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office,  she has been  employed with the county jail. Prior to that she was employed as a legal secretary for 10 years.  

Sgt. Peter Buttitta – A 21-year veteran of Somerset County Corrections Division, he began his career there and served as a member of the Correctional Response Team as well as the Sheriff’s Special Response Team.  He was a corporal for two years prior to being promoted to sergeant.

Sgt. Kevin Forbes –  Employed 28 years with the Sheriff’s Office, he began his career as a cadet.  Later he became a Corrections Officer and was then promoted to corporal. He has served as a president and vice-president of P.B.A. Local No. 177.

Corp. Napoleon Freeman – During his six years with the Somerset County Corrections Division, he graduated from Passaic County Police Academy where he received the Physical Fitness Award.  He is a member of the Special Response Team, the Correctional Response Team, the Honor Guard, and is also a Field Training Officer for newly hired recruits.

Sgt. Todd Gandolfe – An 11-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office he graduated from the Somerset County Police Academy and received a Sharp Shooter Award for shooting a perfect score of 300. He was promoted from Field Training Officer to corporal in 2014. 

Corp. Jason Goodman – A 19-year veteran, he began his career in law enforcement as a 911 dispatcher and later became a Corrections Officer.  After attending the Somerset County Police Academy, he graduated with a Sharpshooter Award for shooting a perfect score during qualifications.  Since then, he has become a firearms instructor

Sgt. Jonathan Lai – Employed for 14 years with the Corrections Division, he graduated from the Somerset County Police Academy with a Sharp Shooter Award.           

Sgt. Christopher Omelio – A 14-year veteran who worked for the Administration Division as supervisor for the police academy’s recruit preparation. He is a certified firearms instructor, advanced Glock armorer, a School Resource Officer, and a Special Response Team Member.

Capt. Dean Picone – During his 28 years with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and Corrections Division, he served as Administrative Lieutenant, Classification and Records Officer, Training Sergeant, Academy Instructor, Correctional Response Team Member, Special Response Team Member, Prison Rape Elimination Act Coordinator, and Firearms Instructor.  He was awarded the Somerset County Jail-Corrections Officer of the Year Award, the Croix-de-Negotiator, the Prosecutor’s Achievement Award, the Sheriff’s Recognition Award, the Grand Cordon Award, and the Unit Citation Award.

Sgt. David Syring – An 18-year veteran, he began his law enforcement career as a Sheriff’s Officer. He then obtained his Police Training Commission certification. He was later assigned to court security and the Administrative Division where he assisted with agency training, defensive driving, mobile data terminals, Project Lifesaver and served as an instructor at the Somerset County Vocational and Technical School as a Law and Public Safety Instructor. Before his promotion, he was a School Resource Officer.  During his tenure, Sgt. Syring has advanced his education and graduated from Centenary University with a master’s degree in leadership and public administration.

New hires sworn in include:

Officer Irene Dublin – Born in Puerto Rico, she graduated from Raritan Valley Community College with a degree in criminal justice.  While at RVCC, she was an intern with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and spent time at the Police Academy in Hillsborough.

Officer Nicholas Ricevuto – A Somerville resident during his childhood, he graduated from Somerset County Vo-Tech High School with a small-engine certification.  He was a 10-year member of the Somerville Fire Department where he served as lieutenant, and a nine-year member of the Somerville Rescue Squad and Tech Rescue Team. He plans to obtain a criminal justice degree.

Sheriff Provenzano also presented the following awards:

Sheriff’s Recognition Awards

Corrections Officer Daniel Soffer – He has a keen ability to detect incoming contraband and has thwarted approximately 16 inmates who have attempted to smuggle it into the Somerset County Jail.  Officer Soffer has an exceptional work ethic with a willingness to learn. He has trained new officers on proper procedures and has set an example for other officers as a model worker.

Project Lifesaver Team (PLS) – Capt. Mark Szczecina, Lt. Tom Carlucci, Lt. Donald Essig, Sgt. Vincent Carrube, Sheriff’s Officer Adrian Romero and K-9 Unit Officers Albert Bauer, David Daneker and Shannon Snook have been commended for locating and then escorting an elderly resident to safety after he wandered from his gated community late at night. The officers intelligently used team collaboration between the PLS and K-9 Unit, county communications, and the skillful use of electronic-tracking devices.

The team has also been recognized for locating a missing teen within one hour of his disappearance. The male, who has a history of running away, had fled shoeless via the second-floor balcony of his house. The PLS team and K-9 Unit deftly coordinated their efforts and successfully escorted the male to safety.


County Gets $400K+ Rebate on Insurance Premium

Somerset County Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine has announced that the county has received a rebate in excess of $400,000 on its 2018 insurance premium from the Somerset County Joint Insurance Fund (JIF).

The JIF manages workers compensation and other liability insurance for Somerset County and many of the county’s independent commissions, as well as numerous municipalities within and outside of Somerset County.

“This is a tribute to our staff, our proactive safety programs and New Jersey Risk Managers – the organization that manages our program,” said Levine, who also serves as JIF chairperson.

The refund, which has occurred for 19 consecutive years, is the longest string of rebates in New Jersey history.

“This premium rebate, like the others we have received, will be rolled into our insurance budget for the coming year,” Levine said. “Our primary focus remains the safety and well-being of our employees. These annual rebates show how successful our efforts have been to provide safety training and support for our staff.”