Officer Ed Ammerlaan, an 18 year veteran with the Berkeley Heights Police Department was officially promoted to the rank of Sergeant at the Berkeley Heights Township Council meeting on Tues., Dec. 20, 2011.
Accompanied by his wife Christine and three children, Ammerlaan basked in the praise of Mayor Joseph Bruno and Police Chief Michael Mathis, both of whom recommended that Ammerlaan be promoted.
At Tuesday night's meeting, Mathis handed a Sergeants badge to Ammerlaan and requested that his wife Christine pin the new badge on his uniform.
With his wife Christine holding the Bible and his children at his side, Sergeant Ammerlaan was sworn in by Mayor Bruno and signed his record of oath.
During his career, he served as a patrol officer, traffic officer and detective.
He was assigned to the Union County Prosecutors Auto Theft Task Force and High Tech Crimes Unit where he excelled in the apprehension of car thieves and the recovery of stolen motor vehicles. During his time in the High Tech Crimes Unit, he took part and investigated computer based crimes resulting in the arrest of pedophiles, according to Mathis.
"His expertize with computers has helped our own department countless times throughout the years where is also the IT Officer," Mathis said.
He said, "I remember last year having a computer system failure so I contacted Ed on his cell phone only to find out that he was on a family vacation driving to Florida on Interstate 95. He answered his phone on the first ring with the popular -- Yes, what can I do for you."
Mathis said that Ammerlaan had fixed the problem and the system was up and running within minutes.
"I don’t ask him how he does it but he makes it happen, even if it’s from a car driving down the highway in a southern state," Mathis said.
Ammerlaan assists in maintaining the police and fire radio system and departments computer network, the police vehicle fleet, and vehicle maintenance.
According to Mathis, Ammerlaan has saved the township thousands of dollars by installing radios, emergency lights, and computer systems both in house and in police vehicles because they were able to discontinue contracts with outside vendors who had previously been doing the work.