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New Lacey Police Hires Are All Combat Veterans

Five men welcome addition to department, where number of officers has dwindled over the past few years, police chief and mayor say

Courtesy of Lacey Township
Courtesy of Lacey Township
by Patricia A. Miller

The five young men at the July 10 Lacey Township Committee meeting stood ramrod straight as they posed for picture after picture.

Once they graduate from the Ocean County Police Academy in January, they will be Lacey's newest police officers.

A grateful Police Chief David A. Paprota thanked Mayor Gary Quinn and committee members for making the new hires happen.

"I'm inspired, I'm encouraged, I'm proud," he said. "Their backgrounds are incredible. We have high expectations of you moving forwards."

All five of the men were combat veterans either in Afghanistan or Iraq, the chief said.

"It's a very important day for the police department," Paprota said. "Our ranks have dwindled over the years. You're an important infusion to the police department."

Quinn welcomed the new hires.

"It's a great town to work in," he said. "We are finally starting to feel we are getting back to the numbers we used to have. There's no doubt you will come out shining. We hope we have all of you for 25 years."

The men will enter the Ocean County Police Academy on Aug. 4 and graduate in January of 2015. Then they will enter the Lacey Police Department's field training program before they go on the road, Paprota said.

The new hires are listed below:

• Jason S. Lee is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Jason served in both Iraq (2008 and 2009) and Afghanistan (2011) and attained the rank of Sergeant. Jason Lee is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Health Science from the American Military University. Jason is also completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Psychology at Richard Stockton College as well as a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from the American Military University.

• Brian G. Holt is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Brian served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Brian Holt is a graduate of the Lacey Township High School and earned the distinction of Eagle Scout before entering the Marine Corps. Brian earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and subsequently completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS).

• Elton L. Copes II is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Elton served in Afghanistan (2011-2012) and held the rank of Specialist. Elton is a graduate of the Lakewood Township High School and has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Elton has served as a corrections officer with the Ocean County Correctional Facility since 2008.

• Christopher M. Meyler is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Army. Christopher served in Afghanistan (2010-2012) and was an Airborne Infantry Team Leader holding the rank of Specialist. Christopher is a graduate of Lacey Township High School where he was an accomplished athlete. Christopher Meyler is currently attending Ocean County College earning an Associate’s Degree.


• Patrick Q. Watkins is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Patrick served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq (2005 into 2006 as well as 2007) where he served as a team leader, attained the rank of Corporal, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Patrick has earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ocean County College. Patrick has been serving as a federal corrections officer where he has served for the past 5 years.





makemyday July 15, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Congratulations. Looking forward to a safer community and i want to Thank You all for your service to our Country. Stay safe!
anonymous July 17, 2014 at 06:31 PM
We will find out and you cannot hide from us no matter how careful you think you were. He went by the name Optician Andy and this is what we posted for him----- Here we go again troll---Optician Andy Aka kushmein toochas--Harvard Med graduate who can not figure out how to turn off caps.----Andrew Micheal Falkoff (yeah thats his real name)--245 Matey Ave. Manahawkin NJ 08050-- Twitter--@EYE_DOC_ANDY ---56 yrs Old and still looking according to plenty of fish where he goes by Optician Andy Nj4U---------Father Victor (a good man) Zelda (also a good person) Brother Paul (probably the favorite) ---- Phone numbers that are aval. on the web----(609)978-2979------and 2 others that are posted online--(732)345-2073 and (732) 345-2074 The people he thinks he knows do not like him much. OpticianAndyNJ4U@aol.com ----------- You did this bad decision troll go back to the forest. Love ya -------anonymous -----Dont violate our site with trolling we do not like it. You have plenty of sites to go to please pick another and delete this post. --Love ya ----anonymous
anonymous July 17, 2014 at 06:34 PM
Zing Zing -- Please no-one harm this man for the internet is not real life and I am just messing with him. You can get a picture of this winner however on plenty of fish. I cannot post his picture for it is not legal.--------anonymous
B. Smith July 17, 2014 at 07:27 PM
You may check with the Harvard registars office to see if indeed he is a graduate of Harvard and if not since he advertises that he is then notify the attorney general.
anonymous July 17, 2014 at 11:06 PM
This guy never went to Harvard we have already checked. He is a joke. hehhehehehheehehe -------anonymous

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