By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – Commissioner of Public Security Tim Kriebel Tuesday, Dec. 21 swore in Capt. Joe Fussner as chief of police, efficient Jan. 1, 2022. Fussner takes the place of Chief Douglas Biagi, who will retire on Dec. 31 after 35 years within the Ventnor Police Division.
Kriebel mentioned Fussner has attended weekly public security conferences during the last yr and submitted a 100-day plan for consideration of his appointment.
“You will have a novel perception into what it’s prefer to be a police officer at the moment, and I look ahead to working with you throughout your tenure as chief,” Kriebel mentioned earlier than administering the oath of workplace.
Fussner thanked his mother and father, Anne Marie and Joseph Fussner, each former educators in Ventnor and Atlantic Metropolis, for his or her steerage throughout his early life.
“They taught me dedication once you become involved in one thing and to place your greatest effort ahead 110%, and that stayed with me throughout my profession right here within the Police Division,” Fussner mentioned.
He additionally thanked his spouse Cindy, and three daughters Caitlyn, who held the Bible, Emily and Julie for his or her assist throughout his profession.
“There have been plenty of sacrifices and holidays missed being a police officer. They perceive what it takes to be a police officer and do the job,” he mentioned.
He acknowledged his workforce of officers and members of the Hearth Division for his or her assist through the set up ceremony.
And at last, he thanked the commissioners for offering him with the chance to serve town.
“I feel we are able to work collectively and do good for town,” he mentioned.
Fussner began working within the Ventnor Police Division as a Class 1 officer in 1997. He has a bachelor’s diploma in felony justice from Monmouth College and graduated from the Vineland Police Academy in 2000. His employment features a temporary stint as a dispatcher and several other years as a neighborhood policing bicycle officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2012, lieutenant in 2014 and was made captain in 2019. One among his duties as captain was to tell the media of necessary points and arrests.
Fussner has intensive expertise in motorized vehicle crash investigations and has made greater than 100 DWI arrests. He was awarded for his drunk driving prevention efforts by the Moms Towards Drunk Driving group.
“One of many causes I received concerned with that’s that my mother and father had been associates with Invoice and Muriel Elliot, who began the HERO Marketing campaign after their son, Navy Ensign John R. Elliot was killed by a drunk driver,” he mentioned. “I noticed how that incident devastated that household, and I believed I may make a distinction.”
Though he didn’t keep contact with a majority of the folks he arrested for DWI, Fussner mentioned a number of of these folks have instructed him he made a distinction of their lives.
“They thanked me and mentioned the arrest woke them up they usually had been in a position to flip their lives round,” he mentioned.
Fussner referred to as himself “a avenue cop,” who was aggressive doing the job “the precise means.”
In his 100 day plan, Fussner mentioned he wish to revamp how law enforcement officials carry out their jobs day by day and make use of extra neighborhood policing methods.
“With a lot change coming from the Lawyer Basic’s Workplace and the Legislature, we have to revamp legislation enforcement shifting ahead. We must be extra proactive, approachable and have interaction with the neighborhood extra. We have to construct relationships and rapport with residents, so they’re extra more likely to method us with their considerations earlier than they change into an enormous situation,” he mentioned.
Fussner mentioned he’s trying ahead to “having a seat on the desk” when the commissioners create new ordinances.
“Our fundamental aim is to implement the legislation, however we have to discover a completely satisfied medium in coping with the general public,” he mentioned.
The board permitted a decision establishing his base wage at $149,605.
Metropolis Corridor employees gathered on the Knife & Fork Friday for Biagi’s farewell dinner. He didn’t attend the swearing in ceremony.
A lifelong resident of town, Biagi began working as a police officer in 1988 and was promoted to sergeant in 1993, and captain in 2012. He was the 14th individual to attain the very best place within the Police Division when he was named chief in 2017. Earlier than turning into an officer, Biagi labored as a firefighter and presently volunteers as president of the Board of Training.
“You’ll be missed,” Commissioner Lance Landgraf mentioned on the assembly. “Your humor in occasions once we wanted amusing, and your steerage once we wanted course has been important to this administration and its skill to enhance the Metropolis of Ventnor.”
Though his amassed sick day complete exceeds $156,000, the board permitted a “capped” payout of sick time at $60,000.
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