Video: From open house to Morristown police

Morristown Police Officer Vanessa Appel was sworn in on Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Open houses really do pay off sometimes. Just ask Vanessa Appel.

She attended a Morristown Police Bureau open house in 2016, learned the department would be hiring, and took a Civil Service entry exam.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Appel was sworn in as a Morristown police officer.

Video: Appel sworn in as Morristown police officer

“She brings a very unique perspective,” said Public Safety Director Michael Corcoran Jr., citing the officer’s work for the state Department of Corrections.

Appel served for seven years at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton, rising to supervisory roles with the Hospital Clinical Unit and the Discipline Unit.

Morristown Police Officer Vanessa Appel was sworn in on Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown Police Officer Vanessa Appel was sworn in on Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

She graduated from West Morris Mendham High School in 2002 and earned a bachelor’s degree in law and justice from Rowan University in 2007.

Appel, a Morristown resident for five years, is the fourth woman on the town’s 57-member police force. Two more recruits are entering the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in January, Corcoran said.

Morristown Public Safety Director Michael Corcoran Jr., addresses council, while Acting Chief Darnell Richardson listens, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown Public Safety Director Michael Corcoran Jr., addresses council, while Acting Chief Darnell Richardson listens, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“I am excited to embark on a career protecting and serving a community that I truly care about,” Appel said in a statement.

Tuesday’s ceremony included Capt. Darnell Richardson, serving as Acting Chief in the absence of Chief Pete Demnitz, who on Monday was placed on paid administrative leave.

Town officials have not stated their reasons for the move, describing it as a personnel matter.

Councilman Stefan Armington sports a festive look at the last council meeting of the year, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Councilman Stefan Armington sports a festive look at the last council meeting of the year, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

In other business, Mayor Tim Dougherty asked the council to revisit a newly passed ordinance that reduces the number of street parking permits issued to residents.

One resident from the town’s Historic District complained Tuesday that the measure only grants him three parking decals — but he has six cars.

Another raised concerns about having to buy temporary parking passes whenever she hosts large gatherings.

Councilman David Silva, who voted for the ordinance earlier this month, agreed that some fine-tuning is necessary. Council members indicated they will explore amending the ordinance in the new year.

Councilman David Silva, left, makes a point while Councilwoman Hiliari Davis listens, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Councilman David Silva, left, makes a point as Councilwoman Hiliari Davis listens, Dec. 18, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

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