Each year, the Department for Persons with Disabilities honors a Humanitarian of the Year and a Knight of Columbus of the Year at our Annual Wiegand Farm Golf Classic.
We are proud to announce that our Dominic Calabrese Humanitarians of the Year are Chief William Craig, Deputy Chief Eric Wilsusen and the entire Jefferson Township Police Department. We commend all law enforcement officers in Jefferson and beyond who place their lives on the line every day to protect and serve their communities.
We are honored to present Roy DeFranco with the Knight of Year Award. Roy is a longtime Knight of Columbus who is a member of DPD’s People Need Friends Volunteer Team. Roy also served as our Development Director from 1999-2009. Roy is a veteran of the US Navy and is always there to help DPD when we are in need.
Dominic Calabrese Humanitarians of the Year
Chief William Craig, Deputy Chief Eric Wilsusen
and the entire Jefferson Township Police Department
Chief William Craig
Chief William Craig has been a Police Officer with the Township of Jefferson for 27 years. He graduated from the 34th Basic Class of the Morris County Police Academy in 1989. Throughout his law enforcement career he has worked in every division of the Jefferson Township Police Department and has held the ranks of Patrol Officer, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief. He was appointed to the position of Chief of Police in August 2015. Chief Craig also serves as the Jefferson Township Emergency Management Coordinator, a position he has held since 2009.
Chief Craig is a graduate of Pope John XXIII High School and holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the County College of Morris and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Thomas Edison State College. He has been approved by the NJ State Association of Police Chiefs as an Accredited Command Executive and holds a Certified Public Managers Certificate from Rutgers University. He is also certified as an Emergency Management Specialist from the International Disaster Recovery Institute. Throughout his career Chief Craig has successfully completed dozens of specialized law enforcement training programs and is recognized as a law enforcement expert in many fields. In 2008, he graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia which is an intensive 11 week program designed for police executives around the world.
Chief Craig grew up in Lake Hopatcong where he still resides with his wife of 18 years, Michelle, and their two daughters, Rachel and Meghan. Rachel will be starting her first year of college this fall at the College of New Jersey and Meghan is an 8th grade student at the Jefferson Township Middle School. As a township resident, Chief Craig firmly believes in fostering a positive relationship between the Jefferson Township Community and the Police Department. This belief is clearly evident in the number of community engagements the Police Department participates in throughout the year to build partnerships with residents of all ages and backgrounds. Over the past 27 years, Chief Craig has been recognized numerous times by political, civic, and law enforcement organizations at the Federal, State, County, and Local levels for his commitment and dedication to the law enforcement profession and the citizens of Jefferson Township.
Deputy Chief Eric Wilsusen
Deputy Chief Eric Wilsusen began his career with the Jefferson Township Police Department as a Patrol Officer in 1986 graduating from the Morris County Police Academy’s 27th Basic Class. In 1990 he was assigned as the Community Services Officer and was the department’s first DARE officer. In 1999, he was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned to the Patrol Bureau. In 2000 he was assigned as the Services/Records Bureau supervisor. In 2007, he was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned as the Administrative Bureau Commander. In 2009 he was promoted to Captain and served as the Operation Commander where his primary duties included running the day to day operations of the department including internal affairs and public information. Deputy Chief Wilsusen was promoted to his current position in August of 2015. Deputy Chief Wilsusen also serves as the Township’s Director of Communications/IT and as a Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator.
Deputy Chief Wilsusen is a graduate of the Jefferson Twp. High School and earned his Associate in Arts Degree from County College of Morris, is a graduate of Northwestern University- School of Police Staff and Command and is a Certified Public Manager graduating from Farleigh Dickerson University’s Certificate Program.
Deputy Chief Wilsusen is married to his wife Kristine of 20 years and has two children, Karly 17 and Katelyn 15. Deputy Chief Wilsusen is a lifelong resident of Jefferson Township and is actively involved in his community serving on numerous boards and associations. Deputy Chief Wilsusen and his family are active parishioners at Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church where he serves as a Trustee, Lector, Catechist and Parish Advisory Council Member among other church positions, is a member of the Joseph Lamb Council #5510 of the Knights of Columbus and is a facilitator for the Diocese of Paterson’s Protecting God’s Children Program; he is a Past Chief and Life Member of the Jefferson Township Fire Company #2; is member of the Lake Shawnee Club Board of Governors and currently serves as the Club President. Deputy Chief Wilsusen also serves as Vice-President of the Jefferson Youth Soccer Board and recently became President of the High School PTSA.
Deputy Chief Wilsusen has received numerous department commendations since 1986 including the Police Department Educational Achievement Awards, Chief’s Achievement Award, Honorable Service Awards and numerous Certificates of Commendation throughout his career. Deputy Chief Wilsusen has been the recipient of numerous community awards including the Jefferson Township Rotary Club- Citizen of the Year Award, the Jefferson-Consolidated PTA- Person of the Year Award, the Lake Hopatcong Elks- Officer of the Year Award, the Knights of Columbus- Shield Award, the Diocese of Paterson- Bishop’s Vivere Christus Award, the Jefferson Twp. Recreation Advisory Board- Character Counts Award, the Jefferson Twp. Chamber of Commerce- Presidents Award for service to the community and was the 2014 recipient of the Jefferson Twp. Mayor’s Citizen of the Year Award.
Jefferson Township Police Department
The Jefferson Township Police Department firmly believes in the dignity and worth of all people. They safeguard lives and property, and protect the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression and intimidation, while protecting the individual's constitutional rights to liberty, equality and justice. They have always been committed to providing high quality, community-oriented police services and to building partnerships with the community through open communication and education. They adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards, and have provided leadership and guidance to the police profession.
From Community Services, to DARE, to the Junior Police Academy, the Jefferson Township Police Department not only keeps the town safe, but also works with the people to strengthen the community. We stand by our law enforcement officers as they put their lives on the line to serve. The JTPD has always stood by DPD, whether responding to a medical emergency or helping out at an event and have always treated the people we serve with dignity and respect.
Knight of Columbus of the Year
Roy DeFranco joined the Knights of Columbus in 1974 and is Knight in the 4th Degree. Roy is a member of Council #6343, Father Francis Koch and is a Past Grand Knight. He has been active and involved as a Knight, has served as a delegate to the NJ State Convention, has been the Chairman of the Veterans Committee and for the council disability drive. Roy has helped his council raise over $200,000 for the disabled during his time as a Brother Knight.
Roy is a veteran of the US Navy, joining in 1962. He was on active duty from 1966-1968. He is a proud member of the Naval Order, currently serving as treasurer. He has always proudly supported many veteran causes.
In 1969, Roy became a teacher in the Pequannock School District and taught there for 18 years. Roy later moved onto the Hopatcong Boro and became principal of Hopatcong High School in 1989. Roy retired in 2001 after 32 years in education.
In April of 2001, Roy was approached by then Executive Director Tom Barrett to be the Department for Persons with Disabilities first Development Director, a position that he held for 9 years. Throughout his tenure, Roy helped raise nearly $3 million for the organization and helped the Wiegand Farm Golf Classic flourish into what it is today. Roy retired as Development Director in 2010, but returned to help in 2013 as the Department’s HR and Volunteer Coordinator. Roy has been a volunteer for DPD’s People Need Friends Volunteer Program and has been a “friend” to John from Kelleher Apartments for over 15 years.
Roy is active in his Parish, St Joseph’s Church, in West Milford and has served as a Eucharistic Minister and as the President of the Parish Council.
Roy resides in West Milford and has been married to Linda for 46 years. He has two sons, Roy and Matt and 2 granddaughters Lucia and Amelia.
Roy epitomizes what it means to be a Knight of Columbus, embodying the order’s four core principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism in his daily life. We are proud to call him “friend” and blessed to have him as a volunteer and supporter!
To take out an ad in honor of Chief Craig, Deputy Chief Wilsusen, the JTPD, or Brother Knight DeFranco, please visit www.dpd.org/sponsor.
From left to right: Event founder and Committee Chairperson, Jack Kelly; Deputy Chief of the Jefferson Township Police Department, Eric Wilsusen; DPD Executive Director, Scott Milliken; Knight of Columbus of the Year, Roy DeFranco; and DPD Associate Executive Director Joanna Miller at the 2016 Wiegand Farm Golf Classic Kick Off Luncheon at Giuliano House on January 7th.