Hopewell Township honors one police officer and promotes another

Patrolman Christopher Kascik received the prestigious Award of Merit. Lance Maloney was promoted from detective to sergeant.

By John Tredrea
   Patrolman Christopher Kascik received the Hopewell Township Police Department’s prestigious Award of Merit during the Nov. 20 Township Committee meeting as many uniformed colleagues stood at attention and looked on.
   In addition, Lance Maloney, a Hopewell Township police officer since January 1994, was promoted from detective to sergeant.
    Officer Kascik received the award for his courage and quick, clear thinking in an Aug. 8 case in which he jumped though the window of a runaway car and took the keys out of the ignition.
   Immediately prior to making that move, Officer Kascik had dodged the vehicle in order to avoid being run over. The driver of the runaway vehicle had already struck Officer Kascik and Pennington Patrolman Ryan Matthews, whom Officer Kascik had been called in to assist. Neither officer was seriously injured.
   At the Nov. 20 meeting, police Chief Michael Chipowsky said that, when Officer Kascik arrived on the scene, on a dead-end street near Route 31’s intersection with West Franklin Avenue, the runaway vehicle was "driving in circles, completely out of control."
   (The case involved a Clinton who was placed in the Mercer County Correction Center, in lieu of $50,000 bail, in connection with the police chase that injured the two officers and ended when the driver crashed into a brick wall behind an assisted-living facility in Pennington.
   At the time, police reported that the driver, Phillip Vocke, 21, was being held on charges of aggravated assault on the two officers, resisting arrest, eluding police, driving under the influence of cocaine and speeding.)
   Continued Chief Chipowsky: "The vehicle struck the Pennington officer and Patrol Officer Kascik, injuring both officers. The driver of the vehicle then headed directly at Patrol Officer Kascik again. Clearly within his right to use deadly force, and injured, Patrol Officer Kascik instead jumped into the moving car through an open window and removed the keys from the ignition, ending a very dangerous situation."
      The Township Committee voted unanimously in favor of Officer Maloney’s promotion. Sgt. Maloney will be paid $78,131 annually.
   Officer Maloney, who has a bachelor’s degree in law and justice from Trenton State College, served with the Patrol Division of the township police from January 1994 until May 2000, when he was transferred to the traffic unit. In February 2002, he was assigned to the Detective Bureau.
   Just before Officer Maloney took the oath of office Nov. 20, Police Chief Chipowsky noted that the new sergeant has served as a bicycle patrol officer, field training officer, community policing officer and has participated in his department’s Adopt-a-Cop program at Hopewell and Stony Brook elementary schools.
   In addition to attending Trenton State, Sgt. Maloney is a graduate of the Somerset County Police Academy, where he won the Top Overall Recruit award. He also attended the FBI science and technology of identification school. He is a recipient of the Hopewell Kiwanis Club’s Captain William Seas Jr. Distinguished Community Service Award.
   Sgt. Maloney resides in Lawrence with his wife, Suzanne, and daughter, Kaitlyn.
   Also during the Nov. 20 Township Committee meeting, the committee voted unanimously to hire a new patrolman, James Rosso. The hire became effective the next day, Nov. 21. Patrolman Rosso will be paid $38,900 annually.
   A 1999 graduate of the Morris County Police Academy, Officer Rosso took many in-service training courses while with the Lambertville Police Department, which he joined in July 2000. Prior to joining the Lambertville force, he was an officer with the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Department, which he joined in January 1999.
   Officer Rosso lives in Ringoes with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Brielle.