Sergeant, new hire added to VCPD ranks

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Mayor Mike Bagnell swears in Sgt. Joseph Fussner Friday, Aug. 31 in Commission Chambers in Ventnor City Hall.
VENTNOR – Joseph Fussner is now a sergeant with the police department and Officer Brian Gavaria has joined its ranks.

Fussner, 37, was sworn in by Mayor Mike Bagnell in Commission Chambers Friday, Aug. 31. Gavaria, 24, of Ventnor, joined the department the same day.

“Joe has done great work over his career and I expect that his good work will continue,” Ventnor City Police Chief Michael Miller said in an email. “He has sought many training opportunities and has always applied them to their fullest.

“He has also continued his academic education and earned his masters degree in police science. He’s a fine addition to our supervisory ranks”

Fussner was assigned to the patrol division after he joined the department as a police officer in 2000.

Miller said Fussner has been a proactive officer during his career and has consistently led the department in arrests and driving while intoxicated enforcement. He added that Fussner is the only certified drug recognition expert within the department.

In his new role, Fussner will be assigned as a patrol platoon supervisor, Miller said.

Gavaria was previously employed as an Atlantic County sheriff’s officer after graduating from the Gloucester County Police Academy earlier this year. Miller said Gavaria will be assigned to the patrol division upon completion of field training.

“Bryan comes to us fully trained and ready to work.  He is committed to a law enforcement career and should fit nicely into the organization,” said Miller.

Miller said Fussner’s promotion will minimize overtime expenditures due to supervisor shortages and Gavaria brings the department’s roster to 38 officers. Miller said 38 officers is the minimum needed to effectively staff the department and the department is ultimately at full staffing at 41 officers.

The department must maintain 38 officers to be eligible for grants from the Safe and Secure Communities program. 

Photo courtesy of Officer Bernard Jenkins

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