It is with great sadness and a heavy heart I announce the passing of former Newton Police Chief and Sussex County Undersheriff John D. Tomasula.
John was born and raised in the Town of Newton, and began his career as a police officer on April 22, 1985, serving three years as a foot patrol officer in the downtown business district. He was then assigned to the Detective Bureau in September, 1988 where he spent six years assigned to major crime investigations, crime scene, and evidence handling.
During his tenure with the Detective Bureau, John proposed and developed the Department’s Bicycle Patrol Program which is still used in the downtown business district.
John was promoted to the position of Sergeant on March 14, 1994 and assigned as road supervisor. In August, 1995, John was promoted to the position of Captain, where he was assigned the day-to-day operations responsibilities.
During his tenure with the Town of Newton, John constantly strived to improve himself as well as the Department. He was a graduate of the New Jersey State Police Academy, the West Point Command Leadership Program, and the FBI National Academy, Session 223, as well as receiving certification in Major Crime Investigations and Police Leadership/Administration.
In June, 2000, John was appointed as Newton’s Ninth Chief of Police. In his ten years as Chief, he provided police officers and support staff the most contemporary and comprehensive training available, promoted and advanced the highest ethical and professional standards in law enforcement, and enhanced as well as developed new strategies and commitments to community-police partnerships.
He retired from the Newton Police Department in 2010. He then served the Town as a Special Police Officer for several years.
He was appointed to the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office as director of communications in December 2014 where he was tasked with overseeing implementation of the new countywide 9-1-1 system. He recently served the Sheriff’s Office as Undersheriff in charge of the Bureau of Corrections.
John is survived by his wife Anna-Marie and children Alec, Josh, and Abbey.
Rest in Peace dear friend and thoughtful public servant Chief John D. Tomasula. Thank you for being a part of the fabric of the Town of Newton for so many years and for being a kind, dedicated, and committed leader for so many. You will be missed.
May God bless John’s soul and the lives of his family, friends, and loved ones during their time of grief.
Thomas S. Russo, Jr.