CALDWELL, NJ - After serving 26 and a half years with the West Caldwell Police Department, Chief of Police Michael J. Bramhall announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring from his position as of July 1. The township's Governing Body will follow a process set by local ordinance to appoint his replacement.
At the age of 21, Bramhall entered the West Caldwell force on December 17, 1988, direct from completing his Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree from the County College of Morris. After 21 years, he was made Police Chief, sworn in by Mayor Joseph Tempesta, Jr., on Nov. 24, 2009. He will be 47 upon his retirement.
Bramhall expressed that he had been thinking about retiring for the past few months.
"Once I hit 25 years in December, 2013,
For the past 10 months, Bramhall has also been serving as the township's Assistant Administrator; once he retires, he will no longer serve in that capacity. As far as the chief's retirement benefits, pension and accumulated vacation and sick time, the township has not yet prepared that information.
"As a community we have been fortunate to have Chief Bramhall
It appears that the future is wide-open for Chief Bramhall. He reported that he plans on staying in the West Essex area and is looking forward to taking a few months off after retirement to relax.
North Caldwell's Robert Tucker Arrested for Stealing Officer's Cell Phone While Being Given a Courtesy Ride Home
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Early Tuesday morning at 4:18am, a motorist called North Caldwell Police to report that a male wearing a white baseball cap was lying in the roadway in the area of Mountain Avenue and Gould Avenue. According to Police Chief Mark Deuer, when officers arrived they found four individuals who were walking along Mountain Avenue. The officers interviewed the persons and found that they were on their way to other locations; some were making their way to the bus stop and some were on their way home. Because they were not operating a vehicle, none of the individuals were given sobriety tests. The officers decided that, as a courtesy, it was best to transport the individuals to where they were going.
One of the individuals, Robert Tucker, 19, (who was not the individual originally seen lying in the road) was transported from the location to his home on 187 Mountain Avenue by North Caldwell Police Officer Sue Depoe. During the drive, Depoe realized that her personal cell phone had fallen from the cup holder under the driver's seat, and after dropping Tucker off, she attempted to locate it. She and another officer searched the vehicle, attempted to call the phone, and soon realized that after several calls, the phone was turned off.
Deuer explained that every North Caldwell patrol car is equipped with an in-car video/camera unit which tapes the front window and also the rear seat where someone in custody would be seating. The officers involved decided to review Depoe's video.
"The tape clearly shows Officer Depoe's Apple I Phone 6 plus
Officer Paul O'Neill and Sergeant John Belotta returned with Depoe to Tucker's Mountain Avenue residence. According to Deuer, Tucker told police that he must have accidentally kicked the phone out of the car when he got out. However, Tucker brought them over to an area in front of his home where the police found the phone - already factory reset with all the contents erased - placed under a piece of wood by the mailbox.
Tucker was arrested and charged with Third Degree Theft, due to the value of the phone. He was released on his own recognizance and is expected to appear in court on April 16 at 9am.
UPDATED: Monday, 8:50am
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Police Chief Michael J. Bramhall released further information on Friday evening's incident at Shop Rite, located at 540 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell.
According to the Chief, at about 7:30pm Friday evening, officers were called to the scene of the grocery store where a vehicle had crashed through the front window. The arriving officers found a 2002 Red Cadillac which was determined to have been driven in reverse, near the front doors of the business.
Neither the driver, Ilona Rohonyi, 82, from West Caldwell, nor anyone else at the scene reported any injuries.
Both the West Essex First Squad and the West Caldwell Fire Department reported to the scene to assist. Eventually, the vehicle was removed and the building was determined to be structurally safe; ShopRite was open the next morning on schedule.
"The investigation revealed that the driver, while backing out of a parking space, mistakenly pressed on the gas instead of the brake
"No employees or customers were injured,"
West Caldwell Officer Steven Huster conducted the investigation; Rohonyi was said to have been visibly shaken up but reportedly was not exhibiting any visible signs of injury. She was issued a summons for careless driving and her information was submitted to NJ DMV for driver re-testing.