Fairfield (NJ) On behalf of the Fairfield Police Department, Chief Anthony G. Manna is pleased to announce the promotion of Sergeant R.J. Casendino to the rank of lieutenant at a ceremony that was conducted at the regular meeting of the Fairfield governing body on June 26, 2023.
Earlier this year, the township’s longtime Emergency Management Coordinator, William Smith, retired, which created the opportunity to revamp the future of emergency management planning and operations in Fairfield. Chief Manna had recommended to the administrator and governing body that now might be the time to place emergency management within the police department, given that they were the only full time, 24/7 staffed first responders in the township. The governing body agreed and selected Casendino from amongst four other exceptional candidates.
Lieutenant Casendino began his career with the Fairfield Police Department as a dispatcher on August 15, 2005. He was then appointed as a probationary police officer on March 2, 2007. After serving in the Patrol Section, he was eventually assigned to the Administrative Section and also as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Police. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on January 13, 2020, and was transferred to the Professional Standards Section while still serving as the chief’s special assistant.
“While Lt. Casendino has excelled in all of his assignments, there are four specific areas that have to be mentioned to highlight his latest work,” said Chief Manna.
• Budget Oversight- Lt. Casendino oversees the department’s budget on behalf of the chief and has done a great job in reducing expenditures to the point where the police department’s operating budget is now balanced.
• Renovations of Police Headquarters- Between 2018 and 2020, the department’s police headquarters was extensively renovated, while the department operated out of temporary trailers. During this period of time, which also partly encompassed the Covid-19 pandemic, Lt. Casendino oversaw the renovation project on a daily basis.
• Re-Accreditation- In 2020, the department once again went through its reaccreditation process. This is quite an undertaking in that the department has to show three years of proof indicating it complies with the 105 standards set by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. This was the first time that the department utilized the online portal to provide the assessors with these proofs. Lt. Casendino, who had no formal accreditation manager training, oversaw this project. It is not uncommon for department’s to be cited for minor violations that need some redress, however, due to Lt. Casendino and his team’s effort, for the first time in Fairfield history, we had no violations.
• Fairfield Police Foundation- But perhaps Lt. Casendino’s greatest contribution to the present Fairfield Police Department and what will be his legacy to its future, is his work with the Fairfield Police Foundation. In 2017, the 501(c)3 foundation was formed. Chief Manna stated that “at that time, I tasked Lt. Casendino to be the police department’s liaison to the foundation. I felt that if this new creation was to succeed, it needed to have someone who understood my vision for it, believed in it and who could interact well with our residents and business owners and Lt. Casendino was the perfect choice. He has truly become the face of the foundation.” Since its inception, to date the Fairfield Police Foundation has raised over $700,000. “This has directly helped our officers and our community with the purchases of weapons, equipment, technology and training that we at one time could only dream of,” said the chief.
During his career, he has been awarded (6) unit citations, (1) narcotics arrest citation (1) honorable service citation, (1) exceptional duty citation and (5) lifesaving citations. Lt. Casendino will serve as the newly created Emergency Management Section Commander.
When he is not serving the department, he is a husband, father, and the head of the Roxbury Township football program.
Issued by: Officer Stacy Chiarolanza (PIO)