Seven Washington Township officers earn promotions
It was standing room only last month as seven officers moved up the ranks of Washington Township police at a township council ceremony.
The department promotions – necessitated by recent retirements – have resulted in two new captains, two new lieutenants and three new sergeants.
The department’s honor guard presented the colors at the ceremony and officer
Jonas Pagliarini sang the national anthem.
Lt. Mike Conti was promoted to the rank of captain. The township resident started his law-enforcement career in the township as a special officer II in 1997. He was hired as a full-time officer in 1999 and in 2011, was promoted to corporal.
Conti made sergeant in 2015 and lieutenant four years later. He is also the township’s deputy emergency management coordinator.
Sgt. Leo DiPietro is now a lieutenant. He is also a township resident who started his career in the township police department as a special officer II in 2003 after graduation from the Gloucester County Police Academy.
DiPietro became a full-time township officer in 2005. He was promoted to detective corporal in 2011 and became a sergeant four years later.
Det. Robert Durham was promoted to sergeant. The resident started his police career in 2012 in Brigantine as a special officer II and was hired for the same role in the township in 2014. He became a patrolman the following year.
Durham has a bachelor’s degree from Richard Stockton College and is currently assigned to the department’s Detective Bureau.
Lt. Dante Spataro, a graduate of Rowan University, is now a captain. He started his career in the township in 1997 as a special officer II and became a full-time officer in 1999. He was promoted to corporal in 2011. Spataro was promoted to sergeant in 2015 and lieutenant in 2018. He has a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University.
Sgt. Michael Gizelbach now has the rank of lieutenant. He began his career with the township police as a special officer II in 1999. He also graduated from the county police academy, earning the director’s physical fitness and firearms awards.
Gizelbach was hired as a full-time officer in 2000. He was promoted to detective corporal in 2011 and promoted to sergeant four years later. He recently obtained his master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Officer Oscar Mendez, a Rowan University graduate, was promoted to sergeant. He started his law-enforcement career in the township in 2014 as a special officer II and became full time a year later.
Mendez is currently assigned to the department’s patrol bureau and speaks both English and Spanish.
Officer Kris Hice was promoted to sergeant. The township resident has been with the police department for more than 20 years, serving as a K-9 handler, rifleman and field training officer.
Hice was the department’s Policeman Benevolent Association (PBA) president from 2017 to 2019.