CRANFORD, NJ — Three new probationary police officers were welcomed and a detective was promoted to sergeant in the police department at the Dec. 19 Cranford Township Committee meeting, continuing a revamp of the department, which hired its 11th police chief in October.
“It is a great day for the Cranford Police Department,” Chief Ryan Greco told LocalSource on Dec. 19.
The three new hires, all Cranford residents, are Ryan McSharry, Christopher Gross and Nicholas Cook, and all will start Dec. 31.
“It is always nice to add youth to any organization as it brings energy, excitement and new fresh ideas,” Greco told LocalSource in a Dec. 20 email. “In this case all three new hires are town residents, which immediately gives them a sense of ownership and involvement in the community.”
In addition to the new hires, the promotion of Thomas Stiansen drew a crowd to the meeting.
“As a lifelong resident of Cranford, I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the Cranford residents from my newly appointed position as sergeant,” Stiansen said. “I take great pride in working alongside such dedicated members of the Cranford Police Department who ensure the continued safety of the community.”
Stainsen joined the CPD in 2005, making him a 12- year veteran. He is also a certified firearms instructor and active shooter instructor.
“This includes instructing officers in active shooter scenarios and the use of a ballistic shield,” Stiansen told LocalSource in a Dec. 22 email.
Prior to becoming a police officer, Stiansen served a volunteer firefighter in Cranford.
“As for Sergeant Stiansen, I was his baseball coach when he was 13 years old,” Greco told LocalSource. “I’ve watched Tom grown from a young teenager into a leadership position in the Cranford Police Department. I could not be more proud of the person he has become today.”
A 2002 graduate of Cranford High School, Stiansen studied criminal justice and liberal arts at Union County College. After he graduated from the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains in 2005, he was assigned to the CPD’s patrol division.
Stiansen has received numerous awards during his law enforcement career, including recognition by the state Assembly for the arrest of a serial burglar who had committed dozens of burglaries in northern New Jersey. He also received the New Jersey State Police Valor Award in November for his actions in saving the lives of two people at a fire at a local nursing home.
Stiansen and fellow officer Gregory Federici entered a room that was on fire and removed the residents through a window.
Greco told the crowd at the Dec. 19 committee meeting that Stiansen will be assigned as patrol supervisor on the night shift starting in 2018.
“He is respected by his peers and displays leadership qualities that will benefit the department filled with youthful officers,” Greco said of Stiansen at the meeting.