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Kanecke Sworn In as First Female Police Sergeant

By Joseph L. Kuchie —

SOUTH AMBOY – Before the South Amboy council meeting last Wednesday, Mayor Fred Henry swore in Patricia Kanecke as Sergeant of the South Amboy Police Department.

In front of a council chamber full of family and fellow officers, Kanecke became the first woman Sergeant in the history of the South Amboy Police Department. With her two sons by her side, she took the oath from Mayor Henry and made history.

“Being promoted to sergeant is truly fantastic and I’m proud to be the first female to hold this position,” Kanecke said. “I want to thank the city council and the police administration and Chief Lavigne for your confidence and I’ll do my best to let you never regret that.”

Kanecke began her time with the department in August 1997 as a dispatcher, and after a year at the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department she became South Amboy’s first female officer in September 2001. Since then, she has become a mentor in the community and an inspiration to all the young women in the area.

“When I go to work and get stopped on the street and they tell me how I inspired them or how they commend me for holding this position, it’s pretty awesome and I’m really proud of it,” Kanecke said.

Chief of Police Darren Lavigne was on hand to congratulate Kanecke and say a few words about her promotion. He praised her abilities as a police officer and emphasized the respect her fellow officers have for her on the force.

“Officer Kanecke has always had the support of her fellow officers, and she was elected by her peers as the state delegate for PBA local number 63,” Lavigne said. “She has done a great job at certain projects for that organization and her skills are tremendous.”

Lavigne also went on to say that this wouldn’t be the last ceremony that Kanecke takes part in. He believed that this was only the beginning in what will be a bright future for South Amboy’s new sergeant.

“It would not surprise me if we gather here again in a few short years for perhaps another ceremony for officer Kanecke,” Lavigne said. “I wish her well in her endeavors and I know she’ll do an outstanding job.”

Before joining the police department, Kanecke served on the South Amboy Board of Education from April 1993 to 1998 and was named Vice President of the School Board a number of times during her term. She played a significant role during a difficult time for the city and helped make a lot of key changes in her five years of work.

“Officer Kanecke was very instrumental in the construction of our community school and the referendum that passed to the public,” Lavigne said. “She was on the board at a crucial time and the city benefited from her service.”

Mayor Henry was also very supportive of Kanecke’s promotion and praised her before the ceremony and during the council meeting that followed. “I’d like to congratulation Sgt. Kanecke on her promotion and I know she’ll do a great job in that area,” he said.

Kanecke’s duties will include assignment to the Uniformed Patrol Division as a squad member and will be responsible for the patrol officers assigned to her. She will also maintain her duties as senior TAC Officer, which she was promoted to in November 2011.

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