Robert Beers, the Superintendent of Schools for the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District, shares the following message to the communities of Bridgewater Township and Raritan Borough.
As every student, parent and employee in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District understands, the safety and security protocols within our schools remain at the forefront of our minds as we move towards our September opening.
In a prior correspondence shared with the community on June 24 (Link), I outlined the coordinated efforts of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District to enhance school security throughout all 11 of our schools. We are a regional school district encompassing two municipalities, so it is essential to know security staffing will be upgraded at every school spanning the communities of Raritan Borough and Bridgewater Township. During the 2021-22 school year, our district hired a District Coordinator of School Security, an Assistant Coordinator of School Security and four campus monitors. These personnel will add to our current force of two School Resource Officers and three Class III officers paid for via an agreement with Bridgewater Township.
Therefore, I would like to introduce the security personnel hired by the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.
These individuals, comprised of law enforcement officials with commendation, will coordinate district operations and collaborate with the Raritan Borough and Bridgewater Township Police departments to enhance this critical portion of our operation. Please join me in welcoming these highly qualified individuals to our school district.
So, let us now get to know more about the extensive background in law enforcement of District Coordinator of School Security Mike Voorhees, Assistant Coordinator of School Security Ted Lewis, and the other four members of the school district’s security team—-Joseph Costello, Will Federico, Thomas Keeth, and Matthew Lynch.
District Security Coordinator
Voorhees grew up in Middlesex Borough and graduated from Middlesex High School before he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at The College of New Jersey and then obtained his master’s degree in Education and Supervision from Seton Hall University.
Voorhees thrived during his 26 years on the police force in Bernards Township. He moved up the ladder throughout his career in the rural Somerset County hamlet. From a police officer, he was promoted to juvenile detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and then to deputy chief of police.
And he is quite familiar with school security. While serving as a juvenile detective, Voorhees spent six years in the Bernards Township School District as a state-certified School Resource Officer. He sharpened his education in school security by attending training conferences in Georgia, Arizona, Oregon, and New Jersey, as the first School Resource Officer in Bernards Township, he instituted many safety protocols that are still in place today.
Voorhees became certified in the National Incident Management System developed by Homeland Security. He acted as a liaison between the school district and the local police department. He also served as a coach in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field at Ridge High School.
He also trained police officers in both Somerset County and Morris County on how to implement a School Resource Officer in school districts.
An active marathon runner and youth coach, Voorhees resides in Hunterdon County’s Clinton Township with his wife and three children.
“You must be secured and safe before you can learn in any school environment,” Voorhees said.
Assistant District Security Coordinator
Lewis grew up in Branchburg Township and graduated from Somerville High School. He attended Raritan Valley Community College and Monmouth University, playing baseball at both colleges. He gained his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Lewis launched his career in law enforcement in 1995 when he was hired by the Hillsborough Township Police Department. During his career, he served as a patrol officer and investigative officer and was a 16-year member of the Somerset County SWAT Team, where he served as a team leader. During his time with the SWAT Team, he was involved in numerous critical incident events and rescue hostage situations throughout Somerset County and New Jersey. He retired with the rank of sergeant in May of 2022.
He was a D.A.R.E instructor and assisted with youth safety and education, such as “Stranger Danger,” bicycle and pedestrian safety, within the school district and the community. He worked with community leaders on various safety issues and assisted with the successful “Neighborhood Watch” program.
He worked directly with the Hillsborough Board of Education to make sure all school staff, students, and parents had a safe learning environment through training and assisting with the implementation of “The Standard Response Protocol K-12”, how to react to critical incident situations, which are in effect to this day. He has also created, coordinated, and supervised large-scale “Active Shooter” scenarios and critical incident situations, which led to the increased proficiency of police officers, township officials, employees, school administrators, students, and the public.
Lewis and his wife reside in Hunterdon County’s Raritan and are the parents of five children.
Costello grew up in Montville Township and received his bachelor’s degree in History from William Paterson University, and obtained his master’s in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Before he began his career with the New Jersey State Police, Costello served in the United States Marines and retired as a sergeant. He was a fire team leader during Desert Storm, and through training, he was a qualified sharpshooter and is considered an expert with a rifle while he trained in urban warfare.
He served for 26 years for the New Jersey State Police and held the position of detective for 12 years. Costello was involved in numerous leadership roles with the State Police.
He was a detective sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Office (Newark Station and Holmdel Station).and First Class Zone Supervisor, where he handled three State Police stations. He became a DSFC assistant unit head, where he supervised six State Police stations.
He was involved in detective training at numerous schools and seminars that were related to criminal investigations and worked with multiple federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals.
Costello held the position of Lieutenant/ Station Commander Cranbury Station, where he supervised a staff of 50 state troopers and civilians, and was the Lieutenant/Unit Head of Tactical Patrol Unit, where he was in charge of 50 troopers who were engaged in special details and VIP escorts.
He and his wife and two daughters reside in his hometown of Montville Township.
Born and raised in Somerville, Federico received his associate's degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas State College in Trenton.
He first served our country in the Navy and earned three letters of commendation while participating in Operation Southern Watch in the Persian Gulf.
Federico then began his career in law enforcement with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. He worked as a detective for four years and then was promoted to detective sergeant and held that title for two years. Federico then joined the Readington Township Police Department and was employed as a patrol officer for four years before he became a detective and held that position for four years and then returned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for eight years until his retirement in 2021.
During his second stint at the prosecutor’s office, he served as a detective and then moved his way up to detective sergeant and then finished his career there in the final two years as a detective lieutenant.
His career highlights included being a member of the President of the United States Security Detail for 20 presidential visits across two administrations, an assistant Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, a firearms instructor, and a member of the county’s dive rescue and SWAT teams.
He resides in Readington with his wife and two children.
Keeth was raised in Branchburg and studied Criminal Justice at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton.
He served for 25 years in law enforcement. He started his career with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked as a Sheriff's Officer. He performed specialized assignments with the detective bureau and the Somerset County prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force. He was also a field training officer for the sheriff’s department.
Keeth then became a patrolman for the Green Brook Police Department, and during his tenure there, he was a field training officer and was assigned to the detective bureau. He was promoted to petrol sergeant for Green Brook and served as a certified instructor at the Somerset County Police Academy.
When he retired from Green Brook, he was hired as a security coordinator for the Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School in Somerset, where he created the entire security program and directed a four-person team while being certified as an active shooter instructor.
After three years at that school, he remained working in the education field and was hired as the Princeton University Event Security Officer. Within one year, he was named the Princeton University Department of Public Safety Security Supervisor.
Keeth lives in Flemington with his wife and three sons.
Lynch grew up in Springfield and earned his associates degree in Arts at Union County College in Cranford.
Lynch started his law enforcement career with the Springfield Police Department. He was first a detective in the juvenile division, a position that led to his partnership with the schools in the Union County community. He served as the liaison to the schools and the police department while he investigated all juvenile crimes.
He eventually moved on to become a sergeant in Springfield before his recent retirement.
Before his career in Springfield, Lynch served in the United States Army. He was an infantry soldier in the 101st Airborne Division and his tour of duty included being stationed in the Middle East.
He and his wife reside locally here in Bridgewater and are the parents of two children, who he has helped coach numerous youth sports in our community.