Manchester Township Police officially brought in its three newest full-time officers, along with a pair of Class II special officers, in a hiring ceremony Monday.
Manchester Mayor Michael Fressola swore in new officers Kyle Rickvalsky, Matthew Walaszek and Michael Steffen 2nd, and swore in special officers Daniel Wehrle Jr. and Thomas Chant.
Walaszek is a home-grown officer, having graduated Manchester Township High School in 2009. He attended Ocean County College and moved to the Ocean County Police Academy, where he graduated in 2012, serving as a Class II officer in both Point Pleasant and Lakehurst.
Rickvalsky, who graduated from Southern Regional High School and attended Ocean County College, comes to Manchester after serving as a Class II officer with the Long Beach Township Police Department. Rickvalsky also graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy.
Steffen is the only one of the three full-time officers without prior police experience; after attending both Mercer County College and Richard Stockton College, where he got a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in forensics, Steffen worked most recently as a Mercer County Parks Ranger.
He’ll head to the Ocean County Police Academy for the next five months, with his training expected to wrap up with graduation in February.
Chant, a Toms River native who has a communications degree from the University of Delaware, had been a Class II officer in Seaside Heights and had been hired by the Camden County Police Department’s Metro division in July, but stopped his training there to join Manchester’s force.
Wehrle, who graduated from Drew University, has been a Class II officer in Point Pleasant since last year.
The new officers will all be assigned to a twelve-week field training program, where they will be taught and mentored by seasoned officers prior to venturing out on their own.