For many years now, we've been honoring local police officers and the duties they perform on behalf of the rest of us.

Today I want to recognize two heroes in the Toms River Police Department who have faithfully served for the past decade and more. And in a unique twist, one of today's honorees is a critical support person, even though she's not a police officer.

As members of any strong, capable, and effective police department know leadership and communication matter.

Captain Mike Miller has served the community in Toms River leading officers for the past 28 years.

He's got a master's in Criminal Justice, served for 17 years on the SWAT team, and 25 years in the Color Guard. He also served our nation faithfully as a 22-year member of the United States Army Reserve.

Captain Mike Miller - Toms River Police Department (Photo: Toms River Police Department Facebook page)
Captain Mike Miller - Toms River Police Department (Photo: Toms River Police Department Facebook page)

Our second honoree started her nearly 10-year career with the Toms River PD as a volunteer for the first two years. Jillian Messina developed the Community Affairs Program for the department and developed and handled all social media platforms and websites.

She is a friendly, outgoing professional responsible for bringing more than $600,000 in charitable contributions and is heavily involved as a member of the Toms River Police Foundation.

Photo by: Bill Spadea
Photo by: Bill Spadea

Lt. Gene Bachonski worked closely with both of these leaders and joined me on the air to honor them.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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