BERKELEY TOWNSHIP – It may have been several decades since they put down their social studies notebooks and picked up their badges, but for five of the seven current police chiefs serving in Ocean County, coming back to the halls of Central Regional High School here to reminisce about their early years in front of the cameras of contemporary television students was a bit like coming home again.
The five – Toms River Chief Michael G. Mastronardy, Class of 1971; Tuckerton Chief Michael Caputo, Class of 1976; Ocean Gate Chief Reece J. Fisher, Class of 1985; Pine Beach Chief John M. Sgro, Class of 1987; and Berkeley Chief Karin T. DiMichele, nee Kane, Class of 1989 – arrived one by one to the parking lot of the school, once just a grass field when they all had attended, and entered a main entrance facing Forest Hills Parkway that was built years after they graduated. After photo opportunities and initial video interviews conducted by student Avery Jackson in another newer hallway honoring successful alumni, the five walked through an older part of the school – trading old stories as they passed the rows of lockers – and entered the current location of the student television studio, which once held Industrial Arts classes.
The two other Central Regional graduates currently serving as police chiefs – Seaside Heights Chief Thomas Boyd and Seaside Park Chief Francis Larkin – were unable to attend. Lt. Kevin C. Arnold, head of the Island Heights Police Department but not yet formally promoted to chief, is also an alumni.
Settling into a row of chairs before bright lights and a group of digital videocameras, the five opened up to student and host Angela Roberts for the station’s Community Spotlight program about their reaction to the changes around the school, how they learned they had all graduated from the same school, what they remembered most about their time here, and what they could offer as advice for contemporary students.
“So, pulling up into the parking lot and walking through those same hallways again, what felt different?” asked Ms. Roberts. “What has changed since how you remember it?”
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