Surf City Swears in Acting Police Chief

Jun 21, 2017
Source: Surf City Police Department/Facebook Surf City Acting Police Chief Jack Casella getting sworn in.

The first order of business at the Surf City Borough Council meeting this month was a changing of the guard as Jack Casella was promoted to acting police chief. Joined by his family, he took the oath of office, vacated by last month’s retirement of long-time Police Chief William Collins.

Borough Administrator Mary Madonna administered the oath while Casella’s two young daughters held the Bible for him.

Casella, a 29-year veteran of the borough police force, was placed on a one-year temporary probation as acting police chief during the short ceremony. Collins recommended him for the promotion before his own retirement May 31, Councilman William Hodgson said.

Hodgson, liaison to the police department, said Casella is more than up to the task of replacing Collins but did acknowledge he “has big shoes to fill.”

“I think it (policing) is in his blood,” Hodgson said before Casella was officially sworn in as acting police chief with Collins and the entire Surf City police force lining the back of the council room.

“He is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met,” Casella’s mother-in-law said as they were leaving the meeting. “We’re so proud. When your mother-in-law loves you, you know you’re in good hands.”

Of Collins, Hodgson said, ”Anytime anything needed to be brought, you would go out and buy it. You ran the department like a business” with pride and integrity, and showed kindness and compassion to all.

“I came to thank you,” Collins, a 38-year veteran of the borough police department, said. “I could always count on you. We worked well together. I don’t know where 38 years went.”

Collins began his career as a summer officer in 1979 before becoming a special officer and moving up the ranks from there. He was named police chief in 2002.

“We couldn’t have picked a better one,” Mayor Francis Hodgson said.

— Gina G. Scala

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