Longtime Toms River Police Officers Fill Sergeant Posts
Despite chronic understaffing that leaves the Toms River Police Department a virtual total of 19 officers short, they're doing more with less. Two veteran officers this week took their oaths to fill much-needed sergeant positions.
Eugene Bachonski and Peter Sundack are Rutgers graduates - Bachonski with a BS in Business Economics, Sundack with a BS in Environmental Science - and graduates of the Ocean County Police Academy in Waretown.
Bachonski joined the Toms River PD in 1999. Since 2002, he's focused his energy on road crash investigations with the local Traffic Safety Bureau and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Team.
Bachonski says that the ties that bind brother officers only strengthens with time. "I'm still friendly with a lot of people I went to the Academy with," he says. "We still look back at how difficult it was to make it through and how it was the start of such a great career."
He's a dedicated runner who organized the department's participation in long-distance events such as 2010's Jingle Bell 5K Run in memory of Detective Mark Catalano. He is married to Raquel Bachonski and is the father of two daughters, Alexa and Maya.
New Sergeant Peter Sundack began his term on the Toms River force in 2000, where he pounded a beat on foot and on bicycle while serving on the color guard. He logged nine years as a school resource officer at Toms River Intermediate and High School East, which, he says, gave him immense satisfaction.
"Working with young people and being able to make a difference there has probably been some of the most rewarding work I've done," he reflects.
Sundack still teaches at the Academy and conducts in-service training in Toms River. He's been a certified emergency medical technician for 23 years and spends his free time cycling and creating music in his home studio.
Sundack is married to Jennifer Sundack and is the father of two youngsters, Ethan and Carley.