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West Caldwell Swears In First Female Officer

Three new officers added to department's ranks.

Calling it an "exciting evening," Mayor Joseph Tempesta formally swore in three new probationary police officers, including West Caldwell's first female officer, Kristin Maier, at Tuesday night's Council meeting. 

In addition to Maier, Raymond Foster and Brett Keepers were appointed as probationary police officers. 

As family and friends filled the Council chambers, both Tempesta and Councilman Richard Otterbein, chairperson of the Public Safety Committee, outlined the selection process, which began with 20 candidates chosen for interviews with Police Captain Gerard Paris and other members of the police department.

After the candidates were narrowed down to the three new officers, each underwent psychological testing and a background investigation.

Two of the three officers, Maier and Foster, will now begin field training, while the third candidate, Brett Keepers, will begin training at the police academy. 

Before the three police officers were sworn in by Tempesta, Police Chief Michael Bramhall outlined their accomplishments and credentials.

Kristin Maier

After graduating from Woodbridge High School and Montclair State University, Maier served approximately 5 years with the Montclair State University Police Department, where she served as a dispatcher, patrol officer and later a detective. In addition to her college degree, Maier also graduated from the Essex County Police Academy.

Raymond Foster

Foster received an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from Bergen Community College after graduating from Clifton High School. In October 2009, Foster put himself through the Passaic County Police Academy, Class 09-37, as an Alternate Route candidate. 

During his training at the police academy, Foster received the Markmanship award during firearms qualification.

Before becoming a police officer, Foster worked at California Pizza Kitchen in Wayne, ending his career in the restaurant business a a Shift Leader and Manager.

Brett Albert Keepers

An Eagle Scout and volunteer fireman in Cedar Grove, Keepers first began work with the WCPD as a dispatcher in 2007. Keepers received several letters of commendation for excellent performance during adverse situations while serving as a dispatcher.

After graduating Cedar Grove High School in 2004, Keepers attended Morris County College and studied in the Fire Science program.

In addition to this service as a fireman and an Eagle Scout, Keepers also joined the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad when he was 16.

Keepers will now begin enrollment at the police academy before beginning his field training.


Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM
"The Mayor Who Stole Christmas: Bah Humbug." Directing their ire at West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta and members of the town council, approximately 100 demonstrators protested Tuesday outside the municipal building on Clinton Road the termination of two township police officers and the demotion of four others who were notified Monday of the cutbacks that will take effect at the end of the year. "They are the town. They have the total authority, but the question becomes whether it's really an economic issue or is it retaliation," said Chris Andrews, a state delegate for the Policeman's Benevolent Association Local 81. "From what I understand, the town got an unfavorable award during arbitration. Word has gotten around that this was sort of retaliation. I've never seen anything so sneaky and underhanded—just negotiating in bad faith. It's actually a violation of law." Source-Caldwell Patch VOTE THEM ALL OUT!
Kevin B June 22, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Iwonder......I am sure your trying to make a point. I just dont know what it is. This article that you copied and pasted was posted in December 2009 (which you clearly fail to mention). Since that time the police department has promoted 7 officers and recently hired 3 more. You make it seem that layoffs and demotions were only occuring in west caldwell. Ask Delegate Chris Andrews, whom is quoted in your article, how his fairfield police department is doing. You are acting like someone who did not get their piece of the pie. For that, I feel for you.
Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Living and paying taxes in West Caldwell, my concerns are only to ask the question when I read an article like this is like follow the bouncing ball. I respect what you are saying and yes 7 promotions 3 new hires. But read below. Here is my point; Employees throughout the township of West Caldwell got a memo on Friday, November 13th with some sobering news. With finances in deep trouble, the township may have to take dramatic action, including furloughs and/or layoffs. Although the 2009 West Caldwell budget was passed, and no jobs were lost during the tough fiscal year that hit local, state, and national government agencies, the year 2010 may be a different scenario. In a letter to all West Caldwell Municipal employees, Mayor Joseph Tempesta Jr., and the members of the township council “the economic forecast for our municipality and all government entities across the State of NJ does not present a good picture.” SOURCE TOMATO PRESS
Kevin B June 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
You are posting news articles from 2009 and 2010. We are half way through 2012! Do you not relaize it is possible that the town, through retirements and other cost saving measures has been able to get back on a reasonable financial footing?
Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Where does this extra money come from? Wait I am so very sorry the Tooth Fairy skipped the rest of the world just to give some money up for West Caldwell. Please disregard the past history quoted by the people who handle the money. Hey let's build a water park and offer valet parking for all residents! The facts are the facts like it or not
Kevin B June 22, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Previous newspaper articles clearly reported on 4 officers, 2 of which were lieutenants, all retired in 2011. At over 100,000 each, it is not to difficult to figure where the money to hire these new officers came from. So what is it? You either didnt get the job you wanted or didn't get elected? Maybe both? last comment........
Iwonder June 22, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Wrong I am a retired attorney who knows what just does not make sense. Flip flop it is what it is.
Iwonder June 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM
***UPDATE**** The demotion of the six officers would save the township approximately $107,000, according to Councilman Stanley Hladik, chair of the Finance Committee. Bramhall, however, said he estimates the savings would be more like $85,000. He said the money would not be worth the cost to morale. With less than a month to go until the March 11 deadline to present a preliminary budget to the state, the governing body is struggling with how it will close a gap in the 2011 budget estimated to be anywhere from almost $700,000 to more than a $1 million. Otterbein said all municipal services were being considered for cuts as a result of the budget gap. In addition to cutting services, the council is considering which full-time municipal employee positions could be made part-time.

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