Haddonfield commissioners promoted two officers at its Jan. 22 meeting, one of them to the rank of first female lieutenant and highest-ranked woman in borough police history – at its Jan. 22 meeting.
Danielle Grasso moved up from sergeant to lieutenant and Jacob Sorg was promoted from corporal to sergeant.
“I just want to say personally from experience, these are two of the most incredible human beings, not just officers we are fortunate to have,” Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich said of the officers. “They have blown me away consistently with their dedication to our community at large …
“Both of you have made such an impression on me,” she added, “and you make the work that the chief (Jason Cutler) and I do much easier because of your professionalism, commitment and smiles. It really is a joy to come to work with you or to see you throughout the communities. It really just brings a smile to my face, our school kids, our seniors.”
Grasso has been with the Haddonfield police for 23 years, starting as a patrol officer. She later went to the detective bureau, where she did investigative work and was promoted to corporal. Shortly after came her promotion to sergeant, and Grasso spent some time as a detective sergeant before returning to street patrol.
“My job functions, my responsibilities change each rank you get, and having been in the department for so long, it’s really a great thing to work with so many incredible people and to work for such a great community,” she noted.
“Haddonfield is phenomenal; I’ve enjoyed my time and I’m looking forward to the next few years and for things I can do for the town and for the department.”
Grasso is one of five women on the force. Her advice for women and others who want a career in law enforcement is to “stay patient, stay humble and work hard.”
“I hear and see all these women from history who did and accomplished all these amazing things, and I look up to that,” she related. “And it’s funny when people will put me even remotely near that category.
“Yes, I’m the first female police officer (to achieve lieutenant) in the 110-year history of the police department,” Grasso added. “To me, I just go to work and do my job and I’m fortunate to have gotten where I am.”
Sorg is a K-9 officer whose trains his dog Blue to find missing persons and objects. Grasso praised her colleague’s character.
“(Sorg) has integrity second to none,” she remarked.
Commissioners also gave out certificates of appreciation to former chief Jack Matty and Lt. Peter Dobush, who retired after 23 years on the auxiliary police task force. They collectively performed more than 14,000 hours of volunteer service.
“I can’t say enough great things about these two gentlemen, who continue to give their all …” said Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich. “Whether it’s the farmer’s market or car show, or it’s the Halloween parade, you see them in rain, sleet and snow.
“They give so much of their free time, their family time, and they really contribute to the vibrancy of the community.”
“We as a police department could not do half of the things we do without the gentlemen and the ladies of the police auxiliary,” Police Chief Jason Cutler pointed out. “It’s been an amazing ride.”
Seven auxiliary volunteers were also sworn in and three new Haddon Fire Company volunteer positions were approved for Paul Bradley, Joe Walls Jr. and Zachary Zaitz. Auxiliary police are trained volunteers who help the force when requested.
In other news:
- February was proclaimed Black History Month
- The commissioners approved a number of upcoming events, including the Camden County string band parade on Saturday, April 20, and the mayor’s health and wellness festival on Saturday, May 11. Visit the borough website for more events. Residents are asked to be mindful of road closures during community-wide activities.
- Police announced an uptick in vehicle thefts, including pizza delivery cars. Residents are encouraged to call the 911 in an emergency rather than using non-emergency lines or social media.
The next commissioners meeting is on Monday, Feb. 12.