If you were to erect an ancestral tree of New
Jersey law enforcement and trace back the roots of everyone on the job
today, you would discover a statistical irregularity unexplainable
unless you lived or worked near the eastern side of Ocean County, New
And if you continued to follow the lines of these
officers, they would take you back to patch of land miles and years away
from where the officers work today, a place less than a square mile in
They would take you back to Seaside Heights.
Most people know Seaside Heights, New Jersey from
either grand summer memories or from the television show that follows an
assemblage of New Jersey-area youth throughout their alcohol fueled
But Seaside Heights is also known for having a
police department responsible for launching hundreds and hundreds of law
enforcement careers over the past half century.
In the winter months Seaside operates with between
twenty and twenty-five officers.
But as the weather warms they will put on as many as seventy Class I and
Class II special police officers for the summer months. And when the end
of August hits, this small army evaporates away as it has every year for
This amount of officers is necessary as their
normal population of about 3,000 balloons to more than 60,000 in the
While the bars and the players and even the
officers have changed over the years, having spent a summer in Seaside
qualifies one for immediate membership in this fraternity. Some return,
some don't, but they all remain forever united by a white patch bearing
Roman Numeral 1 or 2 which they proudly wore on their shoulder for a few
Memories range from breaking up fights at the
Chatterbox Bar or Baby O's on the Boulevard to taking back the boardwalk
during the blackouts of 89' or 91' to managing throngs of curious fans
trying to inject themselves into the next episode of Jersey Shore.
The experience a young officer could get here has
always been like no other. A rookie could see more in one busy summer
week in Seaside Heights than he or she could in a year in most other
towns. By summer's end, your average Seaside cop knows the Disorderly
Conduct statute as well as he or she knows the Pledge of Allegiance.
Today, Seaside Heights Police alumni can be found
in local departments from East Rutherford to Dumont to Freehold Borough
to the Windsors. They can be found throughout the ranks of the State
Police and in Federal Agencies ranging from the Air Marshals to the FBI
to the Secret Service to the DEA. And around the country they occupy
positions in agencies including NYPD, Philadelphia PD, and even
In April of this year the Seaside Heights Police
Department is holding their Annual Seaside Heights Police Department
Alumni Banquet titled, "The Starting Point of Excellence."
NJLawman.com spoke with former Seaside Heights PBA
President Cristino Rentas.
"I want to pack this restaurant to the point where
management would even consider closing down to their regular customers."
Detective Rentas is a proud member of this
fraternity of special officers. He began his career as a special on the
boardwalk back in 1989.
PBA President John Dudas is organizing this event
with PBA Delegate Kevin Shouldis and their brethren and are reaching out
far and wide to officers who started in Seaside.
Whether you continued on into law enforcement or
took a different direction, they would love to see you. Also, we'd love
to hear some comments about your experiences in Seaside. Leave them in
the comment box below.
Use the scroll box below to share your thoughts or
view those of others.
Below we've provided information for this event or
click here for the flyer:
2nd Annual Seaside Heights Alumni
The Starting Point of Excellence
Saturday, April 26, 2012, 6:00 p.m. at
Spicy's Cantina, 500 Boardwalk, Seaside Heights, NJ
$30. per person;
For more information and tickets,
PBA President John Dudas at (732) 861-5859; or
PBA Delegate Kevin Shouldis at (609) 290-1319
or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Worked there for 4 summers. Best experience of my life as I met
life long friends. My current PD. consists of all former seaside
guys making it a great place to work
The department I have worked at for the past 20+ years has several
officers who were summer officers in Seaside. I've done many background
checks on perspective officers for my department, and oddly enough, the
ones who worked at Seaside always got hired, even though we are nowhere
close to the shore. They just pump out good candidates.
A shout out to My Brothers in Arms, who are here and gone: Chip Minialga,
Bob Smith, Ed Bennett, Chris Licata, Kevin Failer, Vignia, John Tate,
Eddie Spagatti, Felger, LaBamba, Jamie Chaney, Eddie Lutes, Chief
Schummer, Mudman, Jerry LaStella Chief Boyde, Joe Engrasia.
Worked two summers in seaside before joining my current PD. Most
exciting and best time ever in a uniform, just wish my current PD. was
the same environment.
Ptl. Shouldis, Lt. Tate, (R.I.P.) Chief Chaney some of the best
guys I have ever met.
Crazy times down at "The Heights". Breaking up drunken enraged fights,
writing massive amounts of summonses, wearing out a pair of boots from
walking the boards. Seaside was an awesome opportunity that I will never
forget. LT. Tate on a bicycle......HILARIOUS!!!!!!
Worked there Summer of 01 and 02. Fond Memories of all the guys there.
Linda my dispatcher, Lt. John Tate and my PB&J sandwiches. Hopefully I
can motivate the rest of the graduates from OCPA class 79 to attend.
Wildwood Class II 1986. Three week academy, which included 40 hours of
firearms and 80 hours of everything else. Then I walked the boardwalk
6pm-2am Tues-Sat. In 1986, there were 75 specials in Wildwood. I
wonder where they are now...
Long standing FAMILY tradition have worked here... starting with our
Father (in 60's), me (in 80's), my brothers (in 90's), now my son
Thanks for the experiences gained...
I know my dad would have liked this....retired police officer of 27 1/2
years from seaside heights and he was very proud of it and in his honor
I will be going to be a part of this night in honor.
I started in "The Heights" and it was the best thing that could have
happened to me at the time. A 22 year old looking to get his foot in the
door when I started and Seaside Launched my career for me. Now only
after 4 years with my P.D. I have made detective based on my consistent
work ethic and values taught to me by my fellow Brothers at Seaside
Wildwood should do this also.
Lets not forget the brothers and
sisters that served with us there and who are no longer with us in life
I did one summer in Seaside Heights
back in the 80's and it was the most fun I have ever had in a uniform.