Sussex County Sheriff’s Office

Sussex County Sheriff’s Office
39 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860 • TEL: 973.579.0850 FAX: 973.579.7884

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A charge is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty. If you have any questions regarding anything published herein, please contact the Public Information Office at 973.579.0865, ext. 2010.

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Sheriff’s OfficeNews Room: April 2020

Sheriff’s K9 receives donated vest

  • Posted: April 23, 2020

K-9 Nutmeg in donated vest

Sussex County Sheriff’s Office K9 Nutmeg has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. This specific vest was sponsored by William Haas of Bloomingburg, NY and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Petey and Lucky.”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,800 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million dollars.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 - $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination via its website or mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

SCSO joins county in mourning the passing of Undersheriff Tomasula

  • Posted: April 20, 2020

Undersheriff John Tomasula

Sheriff Michael F. Strada is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Sussex County Sheriff’s Office undersheriff and former Newton police chief John Tomasula following a courageous battle with cancer.

A lifelong Sussex County resident, Undersheriff Tomasula began a literal lifetime of public service as a young man when he first joined the Newton Volunteer First Aid & Rescue Squad. Volunteering in this capacity lead him to an opportunity to work as a police dispatcher for the Newton Police Department and then to his eventual hiring as a Newton police officer in 1985.

Throughout his service with the Newton Police Department, Undersheriff Tomasula worked in virtually every facet and rank of law enforcement within that agency. From foot patrol, bicycle patrol, detective bureau and community policing, he rose through the ranks ultimately accepting the position of chief of police in 2000, a role in which he served for 10 years until his retirement in 2010.

Having assisted in the planning, restructuring and operation of a new police facility and 9-11 communications center during his tenure as chief of police, Undersheriff Tomasula was uniquely suited to the task when, in 2014, Sheriff Strada asked him to assist in the planning and construction of a new countywide 9-11 communications center. Once again, he answered the call to serve and accepted a position as director of communications for the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office. In this role, he was instrumental in the establishment and continued success of our current Sussex County 9-11 center. He remained 9-11 director until accepting the position of undersheriff of the Bureau of Corrections in 2018. Undersheriff Tomasula continued to serve in this role right up to his untimely passing.

Well known and deservedly respected throughout the first responder community in Sussex County, the loss of Undersheriff Tomasula will surely be felt by many. Said the Sheriff, “John was a true leader with unwavering, strength, commitment, and integrity. He will be missed by many but not forgotten.”

Sheriff Strada and the men and women of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office offer our sincerest condolences to the Tomasula family and join all who had the privilege of knowing Undersheriff Tomasula in mourning his passing.

A charge is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty. If you have any questions regarding anything published herein, please contact the Public Information Office at 973.579.0865, ext. 2010.


Sheriff Michael Strada