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M uch is written and verbalized these days about people who have “drank the Kool-Aid” ie; they have bought into a concept or ideology and practice it faithfully. Chief Robert “Bob”Oches , who recently retired after a near 40 year career with the Middletown, New Jersey Police Department, is one such man. Bob is a Middletown native who began his law enforcement ca- reer with the Middletown PD in 1974. His father had pushed him to become a police officer as it would offer him a chance to help people in need and provide assistance in many types of situations. Bob also had a relative who was a New York City Police Officer who had been assigned to Motorcycle #1. The NYPD relative would talk about the interesting people he met and the various issues he had to deal with. As a young man growing up in Middletown, Bob had many oppor- tunities for part time jobs due to the seasonal influx of people “headed to the Jersey shore.” In his younger years, much of the northern portion of the community consisted of summer homes occupied primarily on week-ends and holidays! Traffic for people heading to the Middletown beaches and the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook, New Jersey was terrible. Traffic was often backed up for 10 miles or more! Nowadays most of Middletown homes have been “winterized” and are occupied year round. The town is now basically a suburban bed- room community with strip malls but no industry. After a short career as an iron-worker Bob applied for and was hired by the Middletown, New Jersey Police Department in 1974. Bob spent his entire career with the Middletown PD because New Jersey law does not allow latter transfers from one department to another. (Not that he was ever interested in transferring of course!) The Chief of the Middletown PD in 1974 was Joseph M. Mc- Carthy . He became a role model for young Officer Bob Oches as he was described as “the most selfless police officer” which Officer Oches had ever met. Chief McCarthy was involved in his community and had community involvement long before the term of “Community Policing” was even thought of! Chief McCarthy was a member of many com- munity service groups and was a founding member of a local food bank called “Middletown Helps Its Own” which is still in existence today. Chief McCarthy had a sign in his office which read, “It’s nice to be im- portant, but important to be nice!” Bob Oches gives full credit to Chief McCarthy for the great assistance these early lessons were to his career. During his career with the Middletown PD Bob Oches rose through the ranks from Patrolman to Detective to Detective Sergeant, then Detec- tive Lieutenant then Captain then Deputy Chief and finally Chief, from March 2005 to August 2014. Like many law enforcement personnel, Bob took somewhat of a lackadaisical approach to his college education in his early career. He attended college classes off and on initially but it wasn’t until 1993 that he started pursuing his college degree in earnest. by Terry Lucas A Man Who Drank and Enjoyed the NA “Kool-Aid” THE HISTORIAN’S SPOTLIGHT

Bob attended the 182nd Session of the FBI National Academy from July thru Sept, 1995. The credit hours which Bob earned at the Academy helped him to finish requirements for his Bachelor’s degree in 1997. Bob had earned Associates Degree in Criminal Justice in May 1995 and went on to obtain an Associate’s Degree in Public Administra- tion in 1996, and in 2000 he received a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Bob enjoyed all of the classes at the National Academy but most remembers the class “Management, Planning and Budgeting” which was taught by SSA Vern Harry. Bob believes the class provided him with an in-depth understanding of the management and budgeting process. The class gave him a much clearer understanding of the nexus between finances and personnel... This information allowed him to make deci- sions during his career which balanced effectiveness with efficiency. As all married men and women who have attended the Academy know there are/can be challenges for their families. Whenever a spouse is separated from home and family for three months there are bound to be things happen. Bob’s lovely wife Joanne Oches admits to some moments when she wishes Bob would have been home to assist with his then 18 year old son Robert , and 15 year old daughter Kristen . Things which were usually handled by the absent spouse can sometimes seem insurmountable but somehow things get done and life moves on. There is no doubt it is easier to look back on the Academy experience then looking forward to the “challenges” which many families face in times of absence! Bob and his NA roommate Ted Lambert from Asheville, North Carolina were about as opposite as two people can be but the three months together developed into a lifelong friendship. The two old roommates converse weekly and have shared many family highs and lows in the twenty year interval since they were assigned together in 1995. This lifelong friendship is typical of the many relationships which develop during the time at the Academy. Fellowship and improved lines of communication have always been the norm for the Academy and Bob and Ted are a great example of how successful those concepts are! Not only are they lifelong friends but they have worked together to share law enforcement needs and concerns over the years. This communication has resulted in improved law enforcement effectiveness between their agencies. Bob has remained active with the New Jersey NA Chapter since his graduation in Sept of 1995. One of his highlights has been serving

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