LITTLE FERRY, N.J. -- Little Ferry Police Chief Ralph C. Verdi weathered the storms -- literally -- and recently saw seven officers promoted, giving him ranked supervisors where they were needed most.
"We were down to five ranking officers out of 26. We had senior patrolmen covering shifts," Verdi told Daily Voice.
Four sergeants were promoted to lieutenant and four officers to sergeant.
"This gives me a supervisor on every shift -- and a sergeant in charge of the detective bureau," the chief said.
The promoted officers:
Lt. James Walters
Lt. Joseph Gutierrez
Lt. Christopher Boel
Sgt. Michael Derwin
Sgt. Frank Sciacca
Sgt. Ronald Klein Jr.
Sgt. Thomas Egan
"The recession hurt us in 2008-2009, but we started to come back," Verdi said. "Then we had two bad storms, followed by Sandy in 2012.
"At one point we were down to 21 officers, which was killing us in overtime."
Tests were administered in July through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, leading to the promotions. The officers were sworn during Tuesday night's Mayor and Council meeting.
Next Sunday and Monday, April 3-4, members of the chiefs association will visit the department to consider re-accrediting it.
The team will examine “all aspects of the Little Ferry Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services,” said Verdi, who expects his force to sail through.
"I'm lucky -- we've got a great group of guys," the chief said. "I'm also lucky to be working with this Mayor and Council.
"We've got a good department. And it's getting better."