Washington Township promotes officer McGrail to sergeant

Police officer Denny Mcgrail was promoted to sergeant by Washington Township Mayor Joann Gattinelli and Police Chief Patrick Gurscik at a council meeting on Oct. 27.

The Washington Township Police Department promoted police officer Denny McGrail to the rank of sergeant during a council meeting on Oct. 28.

“I am beyond excited and I am blessed to be given the opportunity through the township administration and by Chief (Patrick) Gurscik,” said McGrail. “I have always looked up to my sergeant, and I hope the younger officers can do the same under my guidance.”

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McGrail started his career in 2009 with the North Wildwood Police Department while maintaining a full-time college schedule at Rowan University. He moved to a full-time position in the Harrison Township Police Department before being offered a job in his native Washington Township. 

“I was born and raised in the township, and I believe it has always been one of the best police departments in the state of New Jersey,” McGrail noted. “I also had several officers become my role models as I was growing up through Washington Township High School.

“I consider them brothers and family members,” he added. “They helped guide and shape my career and everything else to get me to this point in my career.”

During his township police service, McGrail started working toward a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has also played many roles in the department, including in the traffic-safety department, and he worked as a field-training officer and union delegate.

On top of his new role as sergeant, McGrail is also working as a drug recognition expert. With his new rank, he hopes to uphold the township police department’s strong belief in community caretaking, while being an active role model for new and younger officers.

“I hope that I can instill a hard work ethic that I was brought up under and help officers always strive to be the best,” he said. “Under chief, the community caretaking philosophy has been a great model for the community and a great model for the state to follow.

“I would love to continue that with the officers under my command.”

McGrail was promoted by Gurcsik and township Mayor Joann Gattinelli.  The pair also swore in two new officers, Jonas Pagliaring and Victor Rossi. 


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