They are his kind of cops.
Morristown Police Chief Pete Demnitz praised four officers at a promotion ceremony on Tuesday as officers in his own image.
“They embrace my philosophy, of cops on the beat. They’re a visible police presence, out there getting to know the community, so they know you. That’s how you solve crimes,” Demnitz said at the town council meeting.
Michael Buckley was sworn in as a captain, Michael Andrisano made lieutenant and Christopher Oakley was promoted to sergeant. Christopher Little was sworn in as a patrol officer by Acting Town Clerk Robin Kesselmeyer.
Buckley was a top swimmer at Morristown High School, and served as a Marine in Kuwait during the first Persian gulf conflict. Andrisano, the son of a former Morristown councilman, also is an MHS grad and is the firearms instructor for the police.
Oakley, who played center for the MHS football team, grew up across the street from Demnitz and once told the chief that he aspired to a police career, the chief recounted. Oakley is also the department’s resident “intellectual,” Demnitz said, noting that the sergeant is pursuing a master’s degree.
Little, an Army veteran and former corrections officer, spent six months earning his spurs in the department–and never called in sick once, the chief said. “That’s very important,” Demnitz told the council.
“The most important thing to a town’s economy is the perception that the town is safe,” the chief said, thanking Mayor Tim Dougherty and the council for “supporting our efforts to keep that perception real high, and keeping people safe.”
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IN OTHER BUSINESS…
The council voted 5-0 to introduce a new noise ordinance championed by Councilman Stefan Armington. (Council President Rebecca Feldman and Councilwoman Toshiba Foster were absent.)
“We tried to improve the quality of life without imposing hardships,” said Armington. “This is a big issue. We’re taking small steps to see how this goes.”
When adopted, the measure will limit use of landscaping machines (leaf blowers, mowers, etc.) and exterior constructi0n gear (backhoes, power saws and the like) to between 8 am and 8 pm on weekdays and 9 am and 6 pm on weekends.
Presently, construction gear can operate from 7 am to 6 pm, and landscaping equipment can run from 7 in the morning until 11 at night. Snow blowers are exempt.
Anyone seeking a permit to do nighttime construction or landscaping will be required to submit a noise mitigation plan–although Armington acknowledged that the council has not yet defined how that will work.
The new morning hours are in line with responses from an unscientific online survey conducted earlier this year by Armington. Respondents’ stop times, however, were “all over the place.” The councilman also sought feedback from the New Jersey State Landscapers Association.
Violations of the ordinance could carry fines of $250 to $2,000, according to town Administrator Michael Rogers.
By a unanimous vote, the council also approved the $275,000 purchase of the only house on Coal Avenue, which sits in an area prone to flooding by the Whippany River.
Three-quarters of the money is coming from a Morris County flood mitigation program, Rogers said.
The town plans to knock down the house and make the property part of a passive park. Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. of the nearby Bethel A.M.E. Church, which sustained heavy flood damage after Tropical Storm Irene, contends that flood remediation steps could make the neighborhood suitable for affordable housing.