Tuckerton Police Chief Michael Caputo Retiring

Jul 19, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Tuckerton Police Chief Michael Caputo accepts a proclamation of thanks for his 29 years of service to the borough, seven as chief, from Tuckerton Mayor Sue Marshall.

Tuckerton Police Chief Michael Caputo is retiring after 29 years of service, seven as chief, due to economic reasons, he told the borough council at the July 10 municipal meeting. He was surprised by the mayor and council and the entire police force when they “ambushed” him with good wishes and certificates of praise and thanks.

If he had known he would have prepared a speech, he said, but instead he could only listen as the mayor, council members and his men gave him accolades.

The council had received the letter of resignation last week that stated July 31 would be his last day. Caputo later explained his retirement benefits would not increase after 30 years of service, and it made economic sense to retire now.

“I want to thank everyone past and present. I enjoyed rising through the ranks to chief of police. I will miss everyone when my retirement date comes,” he wrote in the letter.

Mayor Sue Marshall thanked him for his 29 years of “tireless, outstanding service,” and said he served with “distinction and leadership.”

Caputo said he would miss leading the police force, a group of “great guys,” and he would be around.

“It’s been an honor to protect the citizens of Tuckerton borough all these years. It’s been a good ride,” he said.

Under Caputo’s leadership the police department received “elite” status when it earned accreditation from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police in April.

Each council member thanked Caputo for his job, and Town Clerk and Administrator Jenny Gleghorn said he was a great sounding board and friend.

During the July 10 council forum, Councilman John Schwartz said the borough had been working for 10 years to get permission to shore up a peninsula of marsh that has been eroding off Little Egg Harbor Boulevard and recently learned it could refill the eroded marsh to what it was in 1977.

“That gives us between 30 to 50 feet across,” said Schwartz. “The NJDEP and the Army Corps said that as long as we don’t disturb clam beds, we can do a living shoreline, so we are going to start pursuing what can be done.”

Schwartz said the borough already has a $50,000 grant it received years ago to do the project. The hope is that it can use dredge material from lagoons as part of the fill.

The borough also voted to extend its contract with the nonprofit New Jersey Future, the consulting firm that was instrumental in acquiring the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $2.1 million grant the borough shares with Little Egg Harbor for shoreline restoration.

The Tuckerton Environmental Commission has requested to drop the rehabilitation of Lake Pohatcong from its mission statement, said Councilman Sam Colangelo. “Any feelings one way or the other?” he asked the council. When no one responded, he said, “Consider it dropped.”

Emergency Management Coordinator Marilyn Kent  said the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to allow the previous members of the town’s Citizens Emergency Response Team to keep their certification without repeating the classes and three new volunteers have elected to take the classes. So now, “the borough will have a working CERT team,” she said.

The council voted to pay Tax Assessor Ed Seeger an additional $1,000 a month, not to exceed $20,000, to cover the additional work he will be doing during the town’s reassessment in 2018.

— Pat Johnson


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