Galloway PD closes ranks after losing 5 officers

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New Sgt. Mark D’Esposito, left, is introduced to the council and public by Police Chief Patrick Moran. (Steve Prisament) New Sgt. Mark D’Esposito, left, is introduced to the council and public by Police Chief Patrick Moran. (Steve Prisament)

GALLOWAY – The Police Department has promoted two officers following the retirement of five ranking officers Jan. 1.

Chris McGinty was promoted to corporal, and Cpl. Mark D’Esposito was elevated to sergeant, Police Chief Pat Moran announced at a Township Council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The promotions will increase the pair’s salaries a total of $17,000, according to the chief.

More than $1 million will be saved through the loss of the five officers: Lt. Tom Davey, Lt. Paul Dooner, Sgt. Troy Midgette, Cpl. Mike Goldberg and Cpl. Harvey Bird.

Their retirements saved the jobs of the department’s five most junior officers, who would have been laid off as part of the solution to the township’s ongoing budgeting problems.

The township was prepared to hire one new officer, but Moran said the need for supervisors was greater.

“Street-level supervisors are extremely important to ensure that what the officers are doing is consistent with law and policy,” Moran told The Current Tuesday, Jan. 29. “They are the first supervisors on the scenes at all hours of the day and night, ensuring what needs to get done does.”

Street-level supervisors also answer calls while managing and supervising, the chief said.

And though there were two promotions, only one supervisory position was filled – that of sergeant. D’Esposito was promoted to that position, and in effect, McGinty replaced D’Esposito as a corporal.  

“Since the PD has shrunk, so has the administration and supervision,” Moran said. “At one point when we had 74 officers, this department had 24 administrators and supervisors. Last year we started out with 54 officers, with 19 officers in administration and supervisory positions. We lost six supervisory and admin officers through retirements; we now have 14.”

He thanked township manager Arch Liston, Mayor Don Purdy and the rest of the council for their support and for understanding the importance of the position.

The chief said there is no minimum number of officers before the township’s liability insurance rates are increased.

“I wish there was a bottom-line number,” Moran said. “A review of manpower by me and the state Department of Community Affairs – one by me and one by DCA – shows between 54 and 57 as the optimal number of officers for this department.  However, we are restricted by budget, and working on plans to try to get there over time.”

He said the department has one class II special officer and he hopes to hire more – possibly up to five – but the department is not taking applications now.

The township also has four Neighborhood Watch organizations.

“Our community watch groups have been doing a great job keeping an eye in the neighborhoods,” Moran said.  “Everyone knows our community watch programs are strong, which helps in so many ways.  I would also like to thank the volunteers for their help and dedication.”

McGinty is a 25-year resident of Galloway. He and his wife, Kristina, have two children, Patrick and Adrianna.

McGinty graduated from Absegami High School and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Richard Stockton College. He put himself through the Cape May County Police Academy.

Hired in July 2002, McGinty has been assigned to patrol and investigations. He was one of the founding officers of the Honor Guard that presents the flags at public events.

D’Esposito, a K-9 officer, started in law enforcement as a class II officer in Stone Harbor in 2003. 

Hired in Galloway in 2004 as a class II officer, he became a full-time officer later that year.

Assigned to K-9 in 2007, D’Esposito handles nationally certified, cross-trained police dog Zito, who is trained as a K-9 partner and in narcotics detection.

As K-9 Unit supervisor, D’Esposito received the Region 15 judges cup for assisting other handlers and judges throughout competition and training in 2011 and 2012. He was promoted to corporal in 2011.

He earned a bachelor’s in business and marketing from Stockton, and has a master’s in criminal justice from Aspen University. 

He is a COPS 5 officer at Arthur Rann Elementary School and assists with women’s self-defense classes.

Chris McGinty is sworn in as a Galloway police corporal by Mayor Don Purdy. McGinty’s wife, Kristina, holds the Bible. (Steve Prisament) Chris McGinty is sworn in as a Galloway police corporal by Mayor Don Purdy. McGinty’s wife, Kristina, holds the Bible. (Steve Prisament)


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