The Watchung Borough Council meeting on Thursday night included the promotion of two of the borough’s police officers to higher ranks within the department.
William Kelly was promoted to lieutenant, while his colleague Scott Anderle was promoted to sergeant. Both men were sworn into their new positions on Thursday night in front of a crowd of their peers.
Mayor Gerald Mobus commended the two men and the rest of the department for their efforts in keeping the residents of Watchung safe from harm.
“This is a very proud time for Watchung Police Department,” Mobus said. “It was a long process that was surely difficult, and they surely made the correct decision.”
Borough Administrator Tom Atkins echoed those sentiments.
“I offfer my congratulations and support to the police officers that were advanced tonight,” Atkins said. “The way I have found it to work in Watchung with police management and leadership is that I often sit down with the chief and lieutenants. Having Lt. Kelly there will be a pleasure, too.”
The pleasure is shared by Kelly, who recently investigated an incident of lewdness at the borough’s WalMart department store. The new lieutenant celebrated the achievement with his wife and two young children.
“I’m honored and I just want to thank my chief, current Chief Tim Wenzel, and all the freedom and support my whole department has given me to run with cases,” Kelly said. “I’m just honored today.”
Kelly also took time to remember a friend and colleague, Matt Melchionda, who was lost in the line of duty during pursuit of a suspicious vehicle in 2006.
“We all still miss him, and I wish he could be a part of this today,” Kelly said.
Anderle, who was previously a detective with the department, was also honored for his work in that role. The new sergeant won the borough’s Investigations Award for leading an investigation of an identity theft ring orchestrated by a bank manager and a Best Buy employee who organized for the theft of over $30,000 of merchandise from the tech retail giant by means of issuing store credit in the victims’ names.