mtpd erica weeks

mtpd erica weeksPHOTO: Officer Erica Weeks is sworn in.  Her father, Timothy Weeks, is holding the Bible.

MIDDLETOWN- The Middletown Township Police Department will swear in seven new patrol officers on Monday, July 21. Three of the officers are female, making this the largest amount of female officers the township hired at one time. This brings the total of female officers employed by the township to nine.

The officers are: Patrick Leonard, William Casey Rodewald, Michael Heaton, Stephanie Geisel, Laura Straniero, Jesse V. Toma, and Erica Weeks. Straniero is the daughter of MTPD Lieutenant William Straniero.


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Patrick Leonard

Patrol Officer Patrick Leonard, 28, was born and raised in Hazlet and currently resides in Freehold. Leonard is a veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves’ Military Police as a Corporal from 2004 to 2010 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He most recently worked for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as a corrections officer for four years. He was previously employed as a Hazlet Township Police

Dispatcher from 2007 to 2012 and as a Special Officer for the Long Branch Police Department in 2001. Leonard graduated from the Monmouth County Police Academy in April 2012. He also served as member of the Hazlet Police Auxiliary from 2011 to 2014.  

Leonard’s family including his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, and girlfriend are scheduled to attend the ceremony. His mother, Tara Leonard is scheduled to hold the Bible.


William Casey Rodewald

Patrol Officer William Casey Rodewald, 28, was born and raised in Belmar, and is currently a resident of Asbury Park. He attended Richard Stockton College of New Jersey from 2006 to 2009 where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

His parents, Judy and Bill Rodewald, are scheduled to attend the ceremony.  His mother Judy is scheduled to hold the Bible. 


Michael Heaton

Patrol Officer Michael Heaton, 26, was born in Red Bank, and raised in Howell Township, where he still resides.

Leonard served a year with the NJ State Park Police. He graduated from Brookdale Community College in 2013 with Associates of Arts in Business Administration and from the Ocean County Police Academy.

Heaton is married. His wife, Colleen, is scheduled to hold the Bible during the ceremony. His parents, Michelle and Arthur, and his brothers, Paul and Joseph, are also scheduled to attend.


Stephanie Geisel

Stephanie Geisel, 37, was born in North Carolina and raised in Aberdeen. She currently resides in Holmdel.  She has served as a part-time police officer for Sea Bright Borough,

Highlands Borough, Keyport Borough, and Freehold Township.

Geisel attended Brookdale Community College where she received her Associates in Arts.  After that she attended Kean University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. Geisel then moved onto Kean’s graduate program where she got her Master of Science in Accounting. She graduated from the Monmouth County Police Academy in 1998

On the night of ceremony Geisel’s father, James Nelson, and mother, Margery Davidson are scheduled to attend. Her mother is expected holding the Bible.


Laura Straniero

Laura Straniero, 23, was born and raised in Middletown. She attended Brookdale Community College and is a Certified Medical Assistant.

Straniero’s family including  MTPD Lt. William and Kathy Straniero, both of whom are township employees, her brothers Billy and Alex, her boyfriend Sean Natale,  and her grandparents Pat and Joe Straniero are scheduled to attend. Her mother Kathy is expected holding the Bible.


Jesse V. Toma

Jesse V. Toma, 28, was born in Rahway, and raised in Middletown where he still resides. He served as a full-time patrolman at the Hightstown Borough Police Dept. until July 2014. He previously served in Toms River as a full time police officer from April 2009 to March 2013.

Toma attended Brookdale Community College from 2004 to 2006 where he received an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. After that he attended New Jersey City University where he received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice & Professional Security and a Master’s Degree of Science in National Security and Cyber Security. Toma graduated from the John H. Stamler Union County Police Academy in December 2010.

Toma is married. His wife Elizabeth Ryan, parents James and Angel Toma, and grandparents David and Pat Toma are scheduled to attend the ceremony. James Toma is expected to hold the Bible.


Erica Weeks

Erica Weeks, 27, was born in Edison, and raised in Aberdeen where she still resides. Weeks has worked in the security and law enforcement fields for six years.

She worked in the security department at Jersey Shore University Medical Center for two years, and spent three years with the Freehold Township Police Department as a Public Safety Associate. Weeks will be working to obtain a Master’s degree at Monmouth University.

On the night of the swearing in Weeks’ father, mother, brother, and girlfriend are scheduled to attend. Her father, Timothy Weeks, will be holding the Bible. 

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...