Stockton University’s Police Department welcomed eight new officers, including three of its own former students.
“I think it’s funny how everything comes full circle,” said Jonathan Laboy, who gradated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
The Egg Harbor Township resident said it was his time at Stockton that convinced him to become a police officer.
“I saw an opportunity to serve a community that helped me through the most trying or difficult years,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.
Alexander Hale left Stockton before graduation to work as an Atlantic County corrections officer.
Now, that the Pleasantville man is back at his alma mater, he hopes to complete his degree.
“I sat in those seats where the students sit, and I still plan on sitting there,” he said. “I want to be a role model for the students. … I want to be able to guide them on the right path.”
Public Safety Director Adrian Wiggins has labeled the group “the Great Eight,” due to that many officers not coming up at the same time in recent years. Seven of them recently graduated from the Atlantic County Police Training Center.
Joseph Pizzuto, of Toms River, is the only new officer who wasn’t part of that class. He graduated Stockton in 2017.
“This is a joyous occasion,” Wiggins said.
He reminded the graduates who they are there to serve.
“I want you to always remember that it’s always for the people,” he said, of those who work at and attend Stockton. “If we are serving correctly and with a sincere heart, then we will truly make an impact on the people.”
The remaining officers are Pablo Flores of Galloway Township, Bryan Merrit of Mullica Township, Casey Foncellino of Bloomingdale, Colton Reed of Egg Harbor Township, and Kyle Twamley of Robbinsville.