HostrupJanet Hostrup of Middletown hugs her 27-year-old son, Christian, after he was sworn in as Fair Haven’s newest policeman Tuesday.


Detective Joseph McGovern was promoted to lieutenant and Christian Hostrup of Middletown was sworn in as a new patrolman in Fair Haven yesterday, capping a two-year departmental restructuring.

“We’ve had a lots of change in the last two years,” Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge, Sr. said at the town’s reorganization meeting yesterday. Two sergeants and a captain have retired in the past two years, and six entry-level cops have been hired.

Hostrup, who had been working part-time with the Rumson police, replaced the retiring Michael Tallarico, who served for 25 years, the chief said. A Middletown High School North graduate, Hostrup has an associate’s degree and is working on a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He brings the police complement to 13, Breckenridge said.

It’s not a high-crime kind of town, and officials want it to stay that way. In 2006, according to State Police data, Fair Haven had five cases of violence — a robbery and four aggravated assaults — or fewer than one per 1,000 residents. Nonviolent crime is also minimal.

Breckenridge, who’s leaving Saturday to take part in a special FBI academy training program for police chiefs, said his priorities in policing the town were to ensure the safety of children and seniors.

“We run a lot of programs in the schools to teach kids to stay away from strangers when they’re walking to school, things like that,” he said.

Scamming of senior citizens is a problem, too, he added. A recent rash of 16 car burglaries across four towns has been solved, Breckenridge said. “In the fall, we see that kids who don’t go away to college can get into trouble if they have nothing to do,” he said.

The borough paid Breckenridge a $3,000 performance-based bonus last year, said Mayor Michael Halfacre — part of a new plan to institute such bonuses for borough employees.

“He was asked to cut the overtime budget, and he saved us over $30,000 last year,” Halfacre said. That was on top of overtime savings Breckenridge produced in 2006, his first year, Halfacre added.

In addition to swearing in new police and fire company officers, Republicans Jonathan Peters, John Lehnert and James Banahan were sworn-in to the borough council. Peters and Lehnert were re-elected and Banahan was appointed to the unexpired term of councilman Chris Walrath, who resigned last summer.

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