Fairfield Police Promote Ten Officers and Hire Three

Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the promotion of ten of its officers and the public swearing in of three probationary police officers at a special meeting of the Mayor and Council that took place on Monday June 14, 2021, at the Fairfield Recreation Building. The promotions were made as part of a reorganization of the department that is designed to provide for greater operational accountability.


The department is now broken up into two divisions, the Operations Division which contains the Patrol Section and the Special Services Division, which contains the Administrative Section, Investigative Section and the newly created Professional Standards Section. Both divisions will be commanded by captains and each section will be commanded by a lieutenant. “This new table of organization will provide greater operational oversight and public and internal accountability while at the same time, affording us the ability for sufficient planning and development of future departmental innovations” said Chief Anthony G. Manna.


The new police officers will be making a salary of $43,287; the new corporals will be making $122,000; the new lieutenants will be making $141,613 and the new captains will be making $146,613.


Captain Daniel Dias


Captain Dias was appointed to the Fairfield Police Department on January 11, 1999. Upon completing the Essex County Police Academy Basic Class #99-1, he finished first in his class in academics, firearms and physical fitness and received the academy’s Physical Fitness Award. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on July 10, 2012, and then to the rank of lieutenant on February 27, 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island. In addition, he attended Richmond University in London and was selected for an internship program with the United States Navy in London. He is the command staff officer who oversees the Firearms Training Unit and is a firearms instructor in handguns, shotguns rifle and sub gun as well as being a Glock, Remington, and Colt armorer. He is a member and commanding officer of the department’s Emergency Response Team. He has previously served in the Investigative Section for eight and a half years where he served as the juvenile aid officer, Juvenile Conference Committee coordinator, and DVRT liaison.


He has received (11) unit citations, (2) exceptional duty awards, (1) lifesaving award, (1) honorable service award and (1) criminal apprehension award. He also received a commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for his work during the investigation of the shooting of Fairfield Officer Gerald Veneziano. He will now oversee the Operations Division which contains the Patrol Section and includes the department’s Emergency Response Team, Emergency Services Unit and Drone Unit amongst others.


Captain Charles Zampino


Captain Zampino was appointed to the Fairfield Police Department on January 5, 1999, after having served as a Class II Special Police Officer with the Seaside Heights Police Department. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on July 10, 2012, and then to the rank of lieutenant on February 27, 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Jersey City State College. Captain Zampino has been a fixture in supervising the Investigative Section and is often contacted by other area law enforcement agencies and consulted on how to conduct certain criminal investigations. He has and will remain the department’s liaison to the superior and municipal courts, the department’s fusion center liaison, liaison to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, FBI, and DEA. He is a founding member of the department’s honor guard and is one of two hostage negotiators that the department has. He has also been the officer in charge of the department’s internal affairs unit.


He has received (30) unit citations, (6) honorable service awards, (2) exceptional duty awards, (1) meritorious service award, (1) lifesaving award and (2) chief’s certificates of recognition. He also received a commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for his work on the investigation surrounding the shooting of Officer Gerald Veneziano. He is a past 200 Club valor award recipient in 1999 for pulling victims out of a plane that crashed. He will now oversee the departments newly created Special Services Division which will include the Administrative, Investigative and Professional Standards Sections.


Lieutenant John McNish


Lieutenant McNish was appointed to the Fairfield Police Department on January 14, 2002, after leaving the Hardyston Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant on

October 12, 2009, making him the department’s most senior sergeant. He attended Rutgers University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Psychology. He is a former DARE officer and has been the catalyst behind the department’s annual food collection drive for the St. Thomas More Parish that takes place each November. He is also one of two department hostage negotiators. Most recently, he was the officer in charge of the department’s Special Enforcement Unit, which is charged with targeted traffic enforcement, police escorts, specific traffic post assignments and special targeted criminal enforcement. He has received (20) unit citations, (4) chief’s certificate of recognition awards, (3) lifesaving awards, and (3) honorable service awards. He will now be assigned as the commander of the department’s Professional Standards Section, which is responsible for conducting internal affairs investigations, audits of police/citizen encounters, the Health and Wellness Unit and accreditation.


Lieutenant Frank Tracey


Lieutenant Tracey began his career with the Fairfield Police Department as a dispatcher in July of 2000. He subsequently left to become a police officer with the North Caldwell Police Department. He then returned and was appointed to the Fairfield Police Department as a probationary police officer on August 16, 2004. He was promoted to sergeant on February 27, 2017. His current assignments/responsibilities include being a member of the department’s Emergency Response Team and Honor Guard, the officer in charge of the field training unit and has recently become the lead instructor for mandatory department in-service training. He has received (6) lifesaving awards, (3) honorable service awards, (2) unit citations, (1) meritorious service award, (1) criminal apprehension award and received the 2012 MADD Law Enforcement Distinguished Service Award. He will now serve as the commander of the Administrative Section.


Lieutenant Michael Nyhuis


Lieutenant Nyhuis joined the department on January 14, 2002. He was promoted to sergeant on February 27, 2017. He attended Rutgers University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice, He continued his education and earned a master’s degree in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University. His most recent assignment has been as a supervisor in the Investigative Section where he is the department’s custodian of all evidence. He also serves as the officer in charge of the Firearms Training Unit and the department’s Emergency Response Team. He has received (10) unit citations, (2) lifesaving awards, (2) honorable service awards, (1) chief’s certificate of recognition and (1) criminal apprehension award. He will now serve as the Investigative Section commander.


Lieutenant John McGrory


Lieutenant McGrory started his career with the Fairfield Police Department as a dispatcher in 2004 and was appointed as a probationary police officer on May 30, 2005. He was promoted to sergeant on February 27, 2017. Just before being appointed as sergeant, when the department decided to join the DEA task force by assigning an officer to them, Lieutenant McGrory was the first and most obvious choice to serve in that position where he did an outstanding job. His most recent assignment was as a shift commander of a squad in the Patrol Section and as the officer in charge of the department’s Emergency Management Unit. He has received (2) lifesaving awards, (1) narcotic arrest award and a commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for his service on a task force that targeted drug operations in Essex County. He will now be assigned as the Patrol Section commander.


Corporal David Lagan


Corporal Lagan was appointed to the police department on March 6, 2014. During his tenure in the Patrol Section, he was an extremely productive officer, often being at the top of all statistical categories that the department tracks to determine productivity. His most recent assignment was as a detective in the Investigative Section where he once again excelled. He attended Cedarville University in Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Electronic Media and a minor in Bible Studies. If you ever speak to him, you will immediately realize that his knowledge about technology is second to none. He has received (2) criminal apprehension awards, (1) unit citation and (1) lifesaving award. Upon his promotion tonight, he will be assigned as a supervisor in the Patrol Section.


Corporal James High Jr.


Corporal High was appointed to the Fairfield Police Department on September 29, 2014, after first having served with the Little Falls Police Department from July 2012. He attended Montclair State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Justice Studies and a master’s degree in Human Resource Training and Development from Seton Hall University. He is currently working on obtaining a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard University-John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has an extensive medical background and is a certified paramedic. In fact, at one point, he was simultaneously a full-time police officer, and an active volunteer member of the West Essex First Aid Squad and Fairfield Fire Department which highlights his commitment and dedication to serving others as a first responder. He recently attended the class given by the New Jersey State Police in order to become a certified drug recognition expert and is also a Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) officer who is responsible for instructing elementary school students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. On two occasions, because of his work ethic and competency, Corporal High was assigned to task force work with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He most recently served as the department’s PBA representative. He is also the son of retired Fairfield Deputy Police Chief James High. He has received (3) lifesaving awards, (1) meritorious service award, (1) unit citation and a commendation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for service on a task force. Upon his promotion, he will be assigned as a supervisor in the Patrol Section.


Corporal Jeffrey Dean


Corporal Dean was appointed to the police department on July 9, 2013. He attended Caldwell University and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in management. During his tenure in the Patrol Section, he was an extremely productive officer, often being at the top of all statistical categories that the department tracks to determine productivity. As a result, he was assigned to the Investigative Section in late 2018 and was eventually assigned as the department’s representative on the DEA Task Force where he currently serves. He is also one of the two department’s Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) officers responsible for teaching elementary school students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Corporal Dean is a member of the department’s Emergency Response Team and Honor Guard. He has received (2) unit citation awards, (1) lifesaving award, (1) narcotics arrest award and the MADD Law Enforcement Distinguished Service Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017. He will be completing his DEA assignment and will eventually be assigned as supervisor in the Patrol Section.


Corporal Steven D’Argenio


Corporal D’Argenio was appointed to the police department on September 23, 2013, after having completed distinguished service with the United States Marine Corps, where he received several medals and ribbons to include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a bronze service star, Marine Corps. Good Conduct Medal and two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons. His most recent assignment has been as a detective in the Investigative Section. He serves as a member of the department’s Emergency Response Team and Honor Guard. He has also been the driving force behind the department’s efforts in its annual support of the Toys for Tots drive which has been extremely successful in Fairfield. He has received (3) lifesaving awards and (2) unit citations. Upon his promotion, he will be assigned as a supervisor in the Patrol Section.


Officer Paul Cory Perrette


Officer Perrette began his career with the Fairfield Police Department as a Class II Special Police Officer, being appointed on December 24, 2019. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in management information services. He received his appointment as a full-time probationary police officer on April 30, 2021 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Section.


Officer Luca Catania


Officer Catania began his law enforcement career with the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department in August 2020. He was hired by the Fairfield Police Department as a Class II Special Police Officer on October 5, 2020 and received his full time probationary police officer appointment on April 30, 2021. Besides speaking English, Officer Catania is also fluent in Spanish, Italian and Arabic. He is assigned to the Patrol Section.


Officer Katrina Guevara


Officer Guevara began her law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in 2020. She was hired by Fairfield as a Class II Special Police Officer on October 26, 2020 and received her full time appointment as a probationary police officer on May 24, 2021. She attended Rowan University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. She is also fluent in Spanish. She is assigned to the Patrol Section.





Authorized by: Chief Anthony Manna

Picture is courtesy of the Fairfield Police Department (l-r PO Luca Catania. Cpl. Jeffrey Dean, Cpl. James High Jr., Lt. Frank Tracey, Lt. John McGrory, Capt. Daniel Dias, Chief Anthony Manna, Mayor James Gasparini, Capt. Charles Zampino, Lt. John McNish, Lt. Michael Nyhuis, Cpl. David Lagan, Cpl. Steven D’Argenio, PO Katrina Guevara, PO Paul Perrette

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