Lou Ferraro’s career has always headed to this point. He’ll even tell you as much now that it’s here. When the lifelong Shrewsbury resident first joined the department more than 20 years ago, the end goal was always the same. The only thing that stood between Ferraro and the position as the borough’s top law enforcement officer was time.
On Monday, borough council swore Ferraro in as Shrewsbury Police Department Chief, striking the acting title he’s carried around for months and making the promotion permanent. With council chambers featuring a standing-room-only crowd comprised of family, friends, and cops from Shrewsbury and surrounding towns, Ferraro assumed his new role, officially.
Just how long had he waited for this day? “My entire career,” he said with a smile.
Ferraro is a 22-year veteran of the department. He began his career as a patrolman in 1990 and rose through the ranks, becoming a detective, sergeant and lieutenant along the way. Earlier this year, Ferraro was appointed the department’s acting chief after now former Chief John Wilson III announced his retirement in January. By then it was just a matter of time.
After a round of applause from the assembled crowd, Ferraro kept his words short, thanking the council and praising the rest of the borough’s officers for going out there and, as he put it, doing all the work.
“It’s a really good feeling to be appointed chief,” he said following the swearing in ceremony. “To have the support of the council and to have the support of the town I grew up in is absolutely incredible.”
The council also said goodbye to Wilson, whose Oct. 1 retirement was marked with a proclamation.
Ferraro was sworn in by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mellaci, who said he requested the opportunity to preside over the ceremony. Like many in the crowd, Mellaci remembered Ferraro from a time well before he became an officer.
Councilman Tom Menapace also recalled a memory made before the start of Ferraro’s career. According to Menapace, himself a law enforcement officer with the FBI, Ferraro’s mother, Mel, told him her son was considering joining the department. When she asked for advice, Menapace said Ferraro would need to be dedicated if he wanted to serve the borough as a police officer.
“He dedicated himself to it, Mel,” Menapace said to Ferraro’s mother sitting in the front row. “And this is the result tonight.”