(New officers from left: Jason S. Lee, Elton L. Copes II, [Chief of Police], Christopher M. Meyler, Brian G. Holt, Patrick Q. Watkins)
The Lacey Township Police Department welcomes 5 new officers who where appointed at last night’s (7-10-14) township meeting to attend the Ocean County Police Academy which begins on Monday, August 4, 2014. The appointment of the new officers is effective August 4th, as they will attend the police academy from August 4th, 2014, through January of 2015 before entering the police department’s field training program in the Spring of 2015. Each new officer is a Lacey Township resident and comes to the Lacey Township Police Department with military training and experience as well as formal educational credentials.
The new officers are as follows:
1. Jason S. Lee is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Jason served in both Iraq (2008 and 2009) and Afghanistan (2011) and attained the rank of Sergeant. Jason Lee is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Health Science from the American Military University. Jason is also completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Psychology at Richard Stockton College as well as a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from the American Military University.
2. Brian G. Holt is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Brian served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Brian Holt is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and earned the distinction of Eagle Scout before entering the Marine Corps. Brian earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and subsequently completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS).
3. Elton L. Copes II is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Elton served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of Specialist. Elton is a graduate of the Lakewood Township High School and has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Elton has served as a corrections officer with the Ocean County Correctional Facility since 2008.
4. Christopher M. Meyler is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Christopher served in Afghanistan (2010-2012) and was an Airborne Infantry Team Leader holding the rank of Specialist. Christopher is a graduate of Lacey Township High School where he was an accomplished athlete. Christopher Meyler is currently attending Ocean County College earning an Associate’s Degree.
5. Patrick Q. Watkins is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Patrick served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq (2005 into 2006 as well as 2007) where he served as a team leader, attained the rank of Corporal, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Patrick has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Patrick has been serving as a federal corrections officer where he has served for the past 5 years.
The new officers will be a welcomed and needed addition to the uniformed patrol force when they graduate the police academy next spring. The police department has experienced the attrition of 14 full-time officers over the past 5 years. These new officers along with the 5 officers who were hired in 2013 will help in adequately staffing the 24/7 function of the uniformed patrol division of the police department.