The Plumsted Township Mayor and Committee along with the Plumsted Police Department held a
Special Township meeting ceremony on Thursday, September 12, 2019 where we were pleased
to promote Patrolman Frank Murphy, Patrolman Anthony Covone and Patrolman Gary Schaal to
the Rank of Sergeant. The department also welcomed two new officers, Kevin Leonard and
Nicholas Lugo as Patrolman. Township Clerk, Jennifer Witham administered their oaths of office
in front of family, friends, police personnel and Township Committee members.
Sgt. Frank Murphy completed the Ocean County Police Academy in 2000 after attending Ocean
County College and Seton Hall University. He began his career as an officer with the Seaside
Heights Police Department and joined the Plumsted Police Department in 2001. Sgt. Murphy
will be assigned as the agencies Supervising Evidence Officer, Field Training Officer and Press
Sgt. Covone earned his associate’s degree from Ocean County College and graduated from
Ocean County Police Academy in 2004. Prior to being hired with the Plumsted Township Police
Department he worked as a Class I and II officer for Ship Bottom Police Department. Sgt.
Covone will be assigned as the agencies Accreditation Manager, Vehicle Maintenance Officer
and Press Information Officer.
Sgt. Schaal completed the Ocean County Police Academy in 2008 and began his career as a
Class I and II officer for the Seaside Heights Police Department. He was later hired by the
Plumsted Police Department in 2010. Sgt. Schaal will be assigned as the agencies Supervising
Firearms Instructor, Less Lethal instructor and Field Training Officer.
A resident of Manahawkin, Ptl. Leonard graduated from Barnegat Township High School in
2011. He attended The Ocean County Police Academy and graduated in May of 2019. He
previously worked for the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department. Within the hiring process,
Ptl. Leonard excelled in the oral boards and background investigation earning him one of the top
two overall spots. He will be assigned to a Field Training officer for an eight week Field Training
and Evaluation Program.
A resident of Berkley, Ptl. Lugo graduated from Toms River High School North in 2011. He
attended Ocean County College and currently attends Kean University pursuing his bachelor’s
degree. Ptl, Lugo worked for the Berkeley Township Police Department and graduated from the
Ocean County Police Academy in May of 2017. Ptl. Lugo also excelled in the oral boards, and
background investigation earning him one of the top two overall spots. He will be assigned
to a Field Training officer for an eight week Field Training and Evaluation Program.
This proud day would not be possible without the continued support of Mayor Trotta and the
Township Council. With sincerity and appreciation we thank them for their continued support
of our Police Department and its members. We wish the new Sergeants and newly hired
Officers the best of luck in the next chapters of their careers.
Mayor Trotta commented that he was “extremely proud of our Police Department and its
members. This department has come a long way under the leadership of Chief Meroney along with
Lieutenant Reilly. We couldn’t ask for a finer group of officers. Congratulations to our new
Sergeants and new officers.”
-Plumsted Township Police Department
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