Two join Montgomery police force

By: Jake Uitti
   MONTGOMERY — The Township Committee unanimously appointed Dewitt S. Giles and Joseph H. Ray as probationary police officers Jan. 5 with 40 family and friends in the audience.
   The two men were sworn in individually by Township Attorney Kristina Hadinger to flashing cameras and warm applause.
   "One of the better parts of my job is the presentation of your badge," Police Director Michael Beltranena said to Officer Ray. "May it always be shiny."
   Officer Giles’ badge, which would also have been presented by Director Beltranena, was instead attached by his father, a police officer in Edison Township, who stood by his son as he was sworn in.
   Officer Ray hails from Monroe Township. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Alternate Route Program of the Somerset County Police Academy, a national program that provides police training to those who have not yet been hired by a police department.
   Officer Giles, an Edison resident, is a graduate of Middlesex County Community College, with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He, too, is a graduate of the Alternate Route Program in Somerset County.
   With the hiring of the two officers, the Police Department now has 33 officers on staff, Lt. Robert Palmer said.
   The probationary period for the two officers is one year, effective Jan. 9, he added.
   "They went through an extensive hiring and selection process," Lt. Palmer remarked. "Out of a field of 30-some candidates, these two were at the pinnacle, which speaks favorably of their qualifications. They were two very stellar candidates."