3 Sparta Officers Promoted, Another Retires
Township's newest elevations come with history of law enforcement pedigree.
On Tuesday, the Sparta Township touted its police department.
Three officers were promoted and a fourth was celebrated on his retirement from the force.
Promoted were Lt. Neil J. Spidaletto, Sgt. Joseph H. Pensado and Sgt. Terrence J. Mulligan.
Detective Sgt. John Schanstra was honored upon his retirement after 20 years with the Sparta department.
“This is a very proud day for the Sparta Police Department,” said Chief Ernest I. Reigstad. He said Schanstra was “a great officer and will be greatly missed. We are also promoting three outstanding officers, which is an indication of the future of the department. They will learn quickly and bring us forward.”
Mayor Gilbert Gibbs said the ceremony was something special and on behalf of the Township Council, thanked the chief and the four officers.
Spidaletto, 39, was promoted from sergeant and shift commander in the patrol division to Lieutenant in the support division.
He is a life-long resident of Sparta, and a 1991 graduate of Sparta High School. He graduated from Villanova University in 1995 with a degree in Political Science. He received his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Seton Hall University in 1999.
Spidaletto is a 17-year-veteran of the department, serving four years as a detective and then three years as the Officer in Charge of the Department’s Traffic Bureau.
He is the son of retired Sparta Lt. Joseph Spidaletto who retired 19 years ago. Spidaletto resides in Sparta with his wife Lisa and their young daughter.
Pensado, 42, was an officer assigned to the patrol division. As a sergeant, he will remain as a squad commander of the division.
He is a life-long resident of Sussex County graduating from Hopatcong High School in 1988. Pensado served four years in the U.S. Navy, and then four years in the U.S. Army from which he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
Pensado is an eight-year veteran of the Sparta Township Police Department. Before he was appointed here in 2005 he had served three years in the Boonton Township Police Department.
A single father of a young daughter and son, he is engaged and resides in Sussex County.
Mulligan, 40, is a detective and as a detective sergeant will assume command of the detective bureau.
Mulligan was born and raised in Staten Island, N.Y., and his family owned a second home in the Lake Mohawk section of Sparta for more than 40 years where Mulligan spent his summers growing up. He is 1990 graduate of St. Peters Boys High School on Staten Island.
He was appointed as a police officer in Sparta in 1997.
He has been a detective for the past nine-years. He is a graduate of Sussex County Community College with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and is on schedule to graduate this April from Farleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration.
Mulligan comes from a family of Irish police officers.
His grandfather, the late Thomas F. Mulligan, retired from the New York Police Department in 1952. His father Joseph Mulligan retired in 1978 as a NYPD Detective. His uncle, the late John Darraugh retired as a NYPD Sergeant in 1975 and his brother-in-law Daniel Sullivan is also a retired NYPD Sergeant.
Mulligan is the current President of the Sussex County Detective’s Association. He lives in Sparta with his wife Meredith and their twin daughters and young son.