The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its 2017 Public Safety Professionals celebration at the Hall of Records in Newark, New Jersey, to commemorate fire officials, police officers and first responders in Essex County for their selfless service.
Freeholder President Britnee N. Timberlake began the program with welcoming remarks, celebrating each of the Board’s honorees for their bravery and sacrifices. This year’s honorees include Officer Amanda Kuchta of Bloomfield; Captain Monique D. Smith of Irvington; former Fire Director Michael R. Dowd of West Orange; Lieutenant David L. Whatley of Newark; Captain Michael Ruglio of Verona; Undersheriff Kevin Ryan of Nutley; Undersheriff Amir D. Jones of East Orange; Captain Mustafa Al-M. Brent of East Orange; Firefighter Antonio Padilla of Newark and Officer Edward H. Carter, Jr. of Newark.
In 1994, Captain Michael Ruglio graduated from Essex County College Police Academy. He was promoted to Detective, then Detective Sergeant and Patrol Lieutenant for his efforts. In June 2017, he became Captain of the Verona Police Department. Among his many responsibilities, Captain Ruglio oversees the narcotics initiative aimed at combating opiate and prescription drug use among our youth. He received a Valor Award from the Essex County 200 Club in addition to countless other awards and commendations from the Verona Police Department and the Verona Policemen’s Benevolent Association (P.B.A.). He is President of the Verona Chapter of UNICO National and founded and served as chairman of the Verona P.B.A. Political Action Committee.