The walls were lined with Lacey policemen and a standing ovation erupted, as Vincent Meehan was sworn in as sergeant.
The promotion, which has been more than six years in the making, was approved at the township Committee meeting Thursday.
“We are all proud of Sergeant Meehan and know that he will do a great job. He has proven to be a dedicated and conscientious worker from the day he started 18 years ago,” Capt. David Paprota said, adding that of those 18 years, Meehan has never called out sick.
To become a sergeant, an individual on the police force has to serve three years as an officer, Paprota said. The state runs a statewide test for sergeant every three years. A list is produced based on scores and the township considers whom to promote from the top three candidates.
“Vince Meehan has scored number one on the past two sergeant exams,” Paprota said.
Over the last five years, the Lacey Township Police Department has lost three sergeants, Paprota said.
“So Vince Meehan is filling a very important position as patrol supervisor,” he said.
With Meehan, the police department will have a total of six sergeants.
“It’s a good feeling,” Meehan said. “I’ve waited a while for it.”
Meehan is looking forward to having more responsibility, he said.
“You’re always trying to make positive changes,” he said of the new role, adding that he will do what he can to do so. “There are a lot of positive things you can do.”
The promotion is long overdue as the last time the township has made a promotion in the police department was 2005, Mayor David Most said.
“I believe you’ve had a great career in the past and I’m sure you’ll just take it to a new limit in the future,” he said.
Committeeman Mark Dykoff noted the police presence at the Committee meeting.
“How many other occupations can you think of that when you get hired or when you get promoted, all your fellow officers come out to honor you?” he said. “It shows the camaraderie and it’s a great thing.”
Meehan’s salary as an officer was $101,119. As a sergeant, Meehan will make $106,031.
“Vince is a good cop and will make a great Sergeant. He knows the road and knows his fellow officers,” said Keith Pearce, President of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 238. “This promotion is well deserved.”