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
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.