VILLAS - Capt. William Priole was sworn in as the chief of the Lower Township Police Department, effective Jan. 1, 2021.
According to a release, Priole is a 29-year veteran of the police department. He was hired in the fall of 1991 and graduated from the Atlantic County Police Academy, in February 1992. His career accomplishments include Officer of the Year, and he was a member of the department’s Fatal Crash Investigation Team.
Priole was promoted to patrol sergeant, in June 2011, lieutenant, in July 2015, and then captain, in June 2019. He was instrumental in the renovations of the township’s public safety building and merger with county dispatch. He also managed the implementation of the transition to the 700Mhz radio system.
Priole graduated from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) Command and Leadership Academy, in 2017. This highly competitive, 14-week academy aims to fashion officers into police leaders who can meet challenges in the law enforcement community.
Priole had resided in Lower Township for many years and has family ties to the community since the 1950s.
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the department that has been such a big part of my life for many years,” Priole stated. “The Lower Township Police Department has built strong ties with our community. I am committed to continue to build on these relationships with our community through community policing. We will continue to be responsive and accountable to our communities.” “I am looking forward to working with the township manager, mayor, and council to continue the great strides our agency has made under the past chiefs, and I hope to be able to meet the high standards of my predecessors,” Priole added.
Priole will step into the role previously held by Chief William Mastriana, who is retiring Dec. 31. Mastriana has been a member of the Lower Township Police Department for 28 years, spending seven-and-a-half years as chief of police.
“When I first made chief of police, in 2013, we were struggling, not only with manpower but also with equipment,” Mastriana stated. “Through the support of township managers and township council, we were able to turn this department from a 38-officer agency when I took office into a 50-officer agency, which included increasing our administrative staff, as well as our civilian employees. We were also able to accomplish getting state of the art equipment, including a renovated public safety facility.”
“I want thank all police and civilian personnel at the Lower Township department for all of their support. Without them, this police department would not be what it is today, and for that, I am grateful to have served with each and every one of them,” Mastriana noted.
“I would like to thank all of those who gave me this opportunity to serve as the Lower Township chief of police and to make a difference in the community we serve. I want to thank my family, who has been there for me my entire career, and who have supported me in every endeavor I choose to pursue.”
Mastriana also gave parting advice to his department and the community he served.
“Policing is changing every day, so we must strive to not only be professional, but fair and impartial in everything we do. God bless everyone and be safe.”