For Immediate Release – May 14, 2021
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – In memory of fallen law enforcement officers, the Middletown Township Police Department (MTPD) held its annual Police Memorial Service at 11 AM on Friday, May 14th during National Police Week. The service was held at the Middletown Police Memorial, located at the corner of Kings Highway and Route 35. The memorial honored the 61 police officers who served the MTPD, five of them being K-9s. The service began with a Call to Order and the Pledge of Allegiance. Father Luigi Hargain and Deacon Martin McMahon led the ceremony with an invocation. Police Chief R. Craig Weber and Mayor Tony Perry delivered speeches at the event, and Deputy Chief Robert Stefanski read the names of Middletown's deceased officers. Members of the VFW Post 2179 laid down a wreath while bagpipers from the New Jersey State Police played music.
The memorial concluded with a Police Officer's Prayer, recited by Deacon Martin McMahon, and TAPS performed by Middletown High School South student Logan Patterson. Officers Michael P. Allen, Charles J. Higgins, and Ian May were promoted. Chase Schwerthoffer, Wilson Cartagena, Willard Potter, Rubin Walker, Steven Coll, Gary Kramer, and John Zarkivach accepted their Oaths of Office and were sworn in by Mayor Tony Perry. Tomorrow, May 15th marks the MTPD's 93rd anniversary.
Lieutenant Charles J. Higgins
Officer Charles J. Higgins was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenant Higgins was born in Brielle and currently resides in Middletown. He graduated from Manasquan High School in 1997 and is currently working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Administration at Walden University. Before his career in law enforcement, Lieutenant Higgins worked as an EMT. After graduating from Cape May County Police Academy in 2006, he was hired by the MTPD that same year. He has served our community as both a Field Training Officer and as a Sergeant prior to this promotion.
Sergeant Michael P. Allen
Officer Michael P. Allen was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Sergeant Allen was raised in Middletown, and now lives here with his wife Jennifer and five children. He graduated from Middletown High School North in 1994 and attended both Brookdale Community College and Kean University. A graduate of Monmouth County Police Academy, Sergeant Allen has been working at the MTPD for 18 years. He is also a Logistics Specialist First Class in the Navy Reserves and has served for 16 years. Sergeant Allen proudly comes from a family of law enforcement, as his brother and father are retired police officers.
Sergeant Ian D. May
Officer Ian D. May was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He is a lifelong Middletown resident, as he was raised in Leonardo and currently lives in Lincroft. Sergeant May graduated from Middletown High School North in 1999 and attended Brookdale Community College. He has taken many courses offered by the U.S. Army, at the Monmouth County Police Academy and the Cape May County Police Academy since. He also attended both the U.S. Army Military Police School and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Correctional Academy in 2007. He enlisted in the New Jersey Army National Guard in 2001 and was deployed to Guantanamo Bay in April 2004. Prior to being hired by the MTPD, Sergeant May worked at the West Long Branch Police Department, U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division. He began his career at the MTPD in August 2010, where he serves as a Field Training Officer, Oleoresin Capsicum and Baton Instructor, in addition to this promotion. Sergeant May holds the Basic Army Instructor’s Badge and teaches some Army courses. He is also a Team Leader for the Monmouth County Rapid Deployment Force, as well as a Field Force Operations Instructor with the New Jersey State Police and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Officer Chase Schwerthoffer
Officer Chase Schwerthoffer was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He was raised in Manalapan and still lives there. He graduated from the Academy of Law and Public Safety in 2016 and from Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy in 2018. After Officer Schwerthoffer’s police training, he served as an Auxiliary Officer in Old Bridge from 2018 to 2019. He earned his Associate’s degree from Brookdale Community College in 2019 and his Bachelor’s from New Jersey City University this year.
Officer Wilson Cartagena
Officer Wilson Cartagena was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He was raised in Union Beach and continues to live there. He graduated from Saint John Vianney High School and enrolled in Brookdale Community College. Officer Cartagena attended both Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy and Ocean County Police Academy. Prior to beginning his career with the MTPD, he worked at ShopRite, Livoti’s Old World Market, and Whole Foods.
Officer Willard Potter
Officer Willard Potter was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He grew up in Elizabeth and moved to Keansburg twelve years ago after he met his fiancé, Jennifer. He graduated from Elizabeth High School in 1989 and from Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy in 2020. Officer Potter currently serves in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and previously worked as a customer service representative with D&W Diesel in Cliffwood, NJ. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering, working on motorcycles and raising his children and niece with the love of his life.
Officer Rubin Walker
Officer Rubin Walker was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He is from Columbia, SC and now lives in Middletown. Officer Walker graduated from C.A. Johnson High School, Rutgers University and Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1989 to 2001. He also worked in Somerset, NJ from 2009 to 2019. Officer Walker is currently a Civilian Tech at the New York City Police Department.
Officer Steven Coll
Officer Steven Coll was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He was born and raised in Middletown, and continues to live here and serve our community. After graduating from Middletown High School North, Officer Coll worked in construction for twenty years. He attended Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy and was promoted to Corporal while there.
Officer Gary Kramer
Officer Gary Kramer was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He grew up in Aberdeen and currently lives in Belford. He graduated from Matawan Regional High School in 1983 and from Middlesex County Auxiliary Police Academy in 2018. Prior to beginning his law enforcement career, Office Kramer owned Exotic Auto Detailing from 1993 to 2008. He has been the owner of Impress Limousine Service since 2003.
Officer John Zarkivach
Officer John Zarkivach was sworn in as an Auxiliary Officer for the MTPD. He was raised in Middletown and now resides in Keyport. He graduated from Keyport High School in 2002. Prior to the pandemic, Officer Zarkivach worked for Delta Air Lines for five years. He is currently an assistant store manager. Officer Zarkivach was an Auxiliary Officer for the Old Bridge Police Department before transferring here.