2008-03-27 / Front Page

Jackson police officers promoted to sergeant

Department personnel honored for service to community
BY DAVE BENJAMIN Staff Writer

DAVE BENJAMIN Jackson Director of Public Safety Matthew Kunz (r) promotes Officer Michael Cunningham (l) and Officer John Convery to the rank of sergeant. DAVE BENJAMIN Jackson Director of Public Safety Matthew Kunz (r) promotes Officer Michael Cunningham (l) and Officer John Convery to the rank of sergeant. JACKSON - Two police officers have been promoted to the rank of sergeant, while several other officers have been awarded the Command Citation Letter, the Excellent Police Duty Ribbon and the Meritorious Duty Award.

The officers were recognized by Jackson Director of Public Safety Matthew Kunz, the mayor and members of the Township Council at the March 11 meeting of the governing body.

Officer Michael Cunningham was promoted to sergeant.

"Jackson had the good fortune to hire Officer Cunningham in February 1996," Kunz said.

He was assigned to the patrol division. While in the patrol division, Cunningham received the department's Unit Citation, the Excellent Police Duty Ribbon and the Kiwanis Officer of the Year Award.

"Mike showed a strong interest in criminal investigation and was selected for a position in the Detective Bureau in 1999," Kunz said. "He served five years as a criminal investigator and two years as a juvenile officer.

"Mike is near completion of an associate's degree in criminal justice at Ocean County College. In 2006 he started a private venture, League Design Partners, a sports memorabilia company. Joining him in the venture as partners were fellow Officers Colin Menafra and Shawn Hobson. Currently they market their own products in eight minor league baseball parks and 10 percent of their proceeds benefit veterans organizations like the Fisher House."

Cunningham is presently assigned to the Patrol Division First Shift. He is a 1981 graduate of Allentown High School and a U.S. Navy veteran. Cunningham and his wife, Ellen, have two sons, Logan and Connor.

Officer John Convery was also promoted to sergeant. Convery is a 1985 graduate of Jackson Memorial High School and a 1989 graduate of Trenton State College, where he earned a degree in criminal justice.

Prior to working for the Jackson Police Department, Convery worked from 1987 to 1989 as a detention officer at the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center. In 1988 he received a Meritorious Service Award for his actions during a riot situation.

"From 1989 through 1997, Officer Convery served as a probation officer [for the] Ocean County Probation Department, working in adult supervision and community service units," Kunz said.

"In 1997 Jackson had the good fortune to hire Officer Convery as a police officer and in 1998 he became a DARE officer and began instructing the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program," he added.

In 2000, Convery was awarded the Meritorious Police Duty Ribbon for his actions during a domestic violence-related shooting; he was awarded the PBA Unit Citation at the PBA Valor Awards; and he was named the Jackson Police Department Officer of the Year.

From 2000 to 2007, Convery served on the Jackson Police Department's Special Response Team.

Convery and his wife, Patti, have two sons, Jake, 12, and Joey, 14. The officer has been serving as the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 34 for the past three years and has been active in the Boy Scouts since 1999.

"These two men are well deserving of this position," Mayor Mark Seda said. "Thank you all for the hard work you do on the streets of Jackson."

Several police officers were recognized for their service to Jackson.

Kunz explained how Officers William Simon, John Rodriguez andAlex Crinnian responded to a burglary and theft at a drug store.

"They determined that a burglary had in fact taken place, did an investigation, located evidence and arrested three juveniles and recovered the proceeds of the burglary. I am presenting them with the police department Command Citation Letter," Kunz said.

For their actions in disarming a woman who was in possession of a knife and for finding help for her, Police Officers Keith Hood, Ed Howe, Ed Travisano and Detective Mitch Cowit received the Command Citation Letter, and Officer Fred Meabe received the Excellent Police Duty Ribbon. Sgt. Steven Laskiewicz received the Meritorious Duty Award.

Officers Joseph Candido and Chris Kelly received a Command Citation Letter for their response, investigation and arrest made in relation to an aggravated assault that involved a weapon.

Detective Howard Bogan, Officers JamesAnuario and John Suanno, and Animal Control Officer John Sbano received a Command Citation Letter for their actions related to an incident of cruelty to an animal. Sbano initiated an investigation, located witnesses and evidence and with the help of the Jackson police officers an arrest in the case was made, Kunz said.

And, Officers Kevin Chesney, Richard Bosley, Michael Bollard and Mary Nelson received the Command Citation Letter, while Detective John Giovanetti received the Excellent Police Duty Ribbon for their quick actions in dealing with a drive-by shooting at an apartment complex.

"A great number of police officers are doing an outstanding job every day and we appreciate their effort," Kunz said.

To conclude the ceremony, Police Chaplain Dan Schafer offered a prayer for the safety of the personnel in the police department and for the public.

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