The West New York Police Department promoted eight officers at a ceremony held on May 8 in the Town Hall Court Chambers on 60th Street.
One lieutenant was promoted to the rank of sergeant, four sergeants were promoted to the rank of lieutenant and three officers were promoted to the rank of sergeant.
“Today we are promoting those who deserve to be promoted,” said Commissioner of Public Safety Sal Vega to the officers and their family members before they were sworn in. “We have kept our promise. That is that no one will be skipped when it comes to promotions.”
The eight officers promoted last week were taken from a three-year-old list where the officers were ranked in order based on the Civil Service Promotional Exam. According to Director of Police Joseph Pelliccio, there is one promotional exam for each rank.
Lieutenant Gary Del Greco, a 25-year veteran to the department, was promoted to captain. Del Greco, who was promoted to sergeant in 1987 and then to lieutenant in 1992, never expected that he would become a captain in the department.
“When I first took the job, I just wanted to become a good police officer,” said Del Greco after being sworn in as Captain. “This is something I didn’t think would ever happen. This is just something extra.”
Del Greco, whose brother retired from the West New York Police Department as a lieutenant in 1994, is currently the Night Detective Commander for the department.
Sergeants Robert Batchelor, George Lopez, Alberto Bringa and Oscar Fernandez were promoted to lieutenant and officers Mark Flores, Sergio Sanchez and Alex De Rojas were promoted to sergeant.
“I am proud to say that for the first time, the majority of those being promoted are Hispanic officers,” said Vega. “Through their talents and test scores they have earned these promotions. Nothing was given to them.”
Not everyone who was promoted knew that they would be a police officer from an early age. Police Officer Alex DeRojas, who was promoted to sergeant last week, made the decision to be a police officer late in life.
“I became an officer when I was 32,” said De Rojas, who has been on the job for eight years. “That is older than most people.”
Positions through ordinance
Three of the new lieutenants named on May 8 will be filling new positions created in an ordinance passed at the April 17 Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
The amended ordinance created three new lieutenant positions and reduced the number of sergeants by one.
“These are all command posts,” said Pelliccio after the ordinance was passed last month. “They are absolutely necessary at this time.”
The new lieutenants will be assigned to the Juvenile Department and the Administrative Department. One of the lieutenants assigned to administration will be assigned to Pelliccio’s office.
The lieutenant assigned to the juvenile department will replace the sergeant already assigned, thereby reducing the number of sergeants.
Del Greco, who is currently the night detective commander, will move into patrol as a tour commander. “Del Greco will be in charge of the department in mine and Deputy Chief Thomas O’Donnell’s absence,” said Pelliccio.
Batchelor, who is currently a patrol sergeant, will be replacing Del Greco as the night detective commander. Lopez, who is currently in the Administrative Services Division, will remain in that department. Lopez will be in charge of licensing. Bringa, who is already the confidential aide to the director, will remain in that capacity as lieutenant. Fernandez will remain as the officer in charge of the juvenile department.
Flores will remain in his position in administration where he is in charge of the court processing. De Rojas will also remain in the position he is currently in. De Rojas works in the administration and Internal Affairs departments. De Rojas will become the department’s training officer as well as handle internal complaints. Sanchez, who is currently a detective, will become a patrol sergeant.