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Michael J. Bramhall is New West Caldwell Chief of Police.

New West Caldwell Chief of Police Michael Bramhall with his family at last night's official promotion and celebration of his new role in West Caldwell.
Michael D’Onofrio

More people than usual were in attendance this evening for the Township of West Caldwell’s Mayor and Council Meeting. Cars filled the parking lot of the West Caldwell Library and Clinton Road with cars. A parade of residents and suited officers flowed into the Town Hall well before the designated start of the 7:15 p.m. meeting to secure a seat for the official promotion of Michael J. Bramhall to West Caldwell Chief of Police.

So rarely does a Township Meeting draw such an audience, but tonight was one of those nights. People were dressed in their Sunday best for the occasion. About two dozen officers were also in attendance for the official promotion, including among others Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Essex Fells Police Chief Vincent Kulik, Fairfield Police Chief Charles Voelker, Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh, and North Caldwell Police Captain Mark Deuer. Bramhall’s wife and two children were also in attendance.

A jocund and convivial atmosphere was palpable in the crowded council meeting, as people were enjoying themselves and being conspicuously conversational.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and a short prayer for our troops abroad, Vincent Christopher, president of Vero Amici For Charity, took the floor first to present collected donations to local organizations in town, such as the Bridge, Inc. and the Caldwell-West Caldwell Special Needs Program among others.

Mayor Joseph Tempesta moved then to the resolution of the evening: the promotion of Michael J. Bramhall to Chief of Police of West Caldwell. Mayor Tempesta first described the difficult process of choosing one officer among the many qualified applicants within the West Caldwell Police Department for the position of Chief of Police.. Voting upon the promotion then commenced with a chorus of “Ayes”; the gavel fell, and the clapping began.

Dressed in full uniform, with hat under his arm, Bramhall stood calm and still with an air of deference and modesty until he was called forth to take his oath of office. The oath was administered by Mayor Tempesta. A roar of applause and photos were taken after Bramhall spoke a few words of thanks.

When asked, Mayor Tempesta said that he was very happy for the Bramhall family. He said it is always a rare honor to be able to promote such a distinguished man to such a distinguished position. He said that he was very happy for the department and town as well, and that there was no better man than Michael for the position of Chief of Police at this time.


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