Hamilton police promote Robell, Alcott

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - They’ve said it before, but it’s true: What a difference a year makes.

Hamilton Township leaders and police officials shared smiles and praise on Friday, April 20 when the department promoted officers for the first time in several years.

At left is Hamilton Township Lt. Anthony Alcott and Sgt. Chris Robell. Both men received promotions during a ceremony held Friday, April 20 in Township Committee chambers in Town Hall. R.J. Liberatore Jr. photo. Officer Chris Robell was promoted to sergeant and Sgt. Anthony Alcott was promoted to lieutenant during an hour-long ceremony held before about 60 people inside Township Committee chambers in Town Hall.

“I’m impressed with the level of education that they both have received,” Hamilton Township Mayor Roger Silva said. “I am impressed with the quality of officers we have in this department. I continue to think we have the finest in the area and second to none.”

About a year ago, Township Committee wrestled with a budget deficit and was forced to reduce the police department by 20 officers, including 13 through layoffs.

But times have changed for both the township and its police department.

“These men were both No. 1 on the last list but due to the financial crisis they couldn’t get the promotions,” Hamilton Township Police Chief Stacy Tappeiner said.

To get the promotion, both men had to take written and oral exams and submit a management plan before undergoing a formal interview, the chief said.

“These are high-quality men who have demonstrated great determination and professionalism throughout their careers,” he said. “We have a good group of supervisors in charge here.”

Alcott joined the force in 1999 and served as a patrolman for three years before being promoted to the detective bureau. In 2005 he served briefly as an officer in charge to fill a manpower shortage and was promoted to sergeant later that year as a result of his earlier performance.

He was promoted to detective sergeant in 2008.

As a patrol division lieutenant, Alcott will return to the streets.

“It feels good to get the promotion and to know I have the support of the chief and committee,” Alcott said.

Then with a smile he said, “I will work with a good group of men whose job it is to make me look good. And my job will be to make the chief look good.”

Alcott received his bachelor’s degree from Rowan University before obtaining his master’s from Seton Hall. He is working on a second master’s from Fairleigh Dickinson.

Robell joined the force as a part-time officer in 2002 before he became full-time later that year, the chief said, “once we realized we had such a good officer.”

Robell was promoted to the Detective Bureau and has been involved with the department’s K-9 unit since 2006.

“He has high respect among his peers as a K-9 officer,” the chief said.

Robell graduated with an associate’s degree from Gloucester County Community College before earning a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University. He is current working on his master’s degree.

“He has received 35 letters of commendation and of appreciation,” Tappeiner said. “He travels all over the state if they need a K-9 officer. He will be promoted to a patrol sergeant and continue to be involved with the K-9 unit.”

Tappeiner said that all of the officers laid off in the 2011 cost-cutting move have found full-time employment with other departments in the area.

“It’s a testament to the quality of good men we have here,” he said.



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