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Milan Patel made history, becoming the first Asian Indian police officer


Edison’s first Indian American police officer

New Jersy, May 15, 2004

Milan Patel made history this week, becoming the first Asian Indian police officer in the township's department. Patel was sworn in at a Thursday afternoon ceremony in the auditorium at Edison High School. Mayor George Spadoro also promoted 16 officers, including installing Brent Papi as deputy police chief. Patel will start as a patrolman in Edison.

Milan Patel served for 2 years as a police officer in the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department. He also served for 2 years as a public safety telecommunicator for the New Jersey State Police. He has previously served the Edison Police Department for 6 years as a police dispatcher. Patrolman Patel also served during this time as a member of the Edison Police Auxiliary Unit. He also spent 5 years as an Emergency Medical Technician of the Edison Volunteer First Aid Squad. Patel grew up in Edison, graduated from J.P. Stevens High School in 1988 and still lives in the township.

"I'm elated over the fact that he was asked to be part of our department and that he took the position," Brent Papi said. In his 34 years with the department, Papi spent some time working with Patel when Patel served as a dispatcher in Edison.

The deputy chief's opinion was echoed by fellow officers, who congratulated Patel with handshakes and said, "It's about time."

Edison has made a concerted effort to diversify its police force, which serves a township with a population that is 60 percent white, 29 percent Asian and 7 percent black, according to the 2000 Census.