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Four Officers Promoted in North Wildwood Police Department

Christopher South
Shown from left to right are Chief Katherine Madden, Lt. Brian Harkins, Lt. Bryan Skill, Sgt. Justin Melo, Capt. Adam McGraw and Capt. Jason Robinson. Newly promoted officers Harkins, Skill, Melo, and McGraw all received their new badges on Tuesday, May 21.

By Christopher South

NORTH WILDWOOD – The city promoted four police officers at the May 21 City Council meeting, naming a captain, two lieutenants and a sergeant.

First in line was Sgt. Justin Melo, a graduate of Lower Cape May Regional High School who started with the department as a class II officer in 2009. He was hired full time in 2012 and attended the Cape May County Police Academy, where he earned the Police Training Commission’s Academic Award.

Sgt. Justin Melo takes the oath of office from City Clerk Scott Jett as his wife, Jenna, and children look on. Photo Credit: Christopher South

He was assigned to the department’s detective division in 2014 and became the municipal counterterrorism coordinator and liaison to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office for intelligence, firearms and Megan’s Law.

He served as a temporary sergeant for the beach and boardwalk in summer 2023 and currently serves as a physical training instructor at the police academy. He recently served as a trustee on the executive board of PBA Local 59. He and his wife, Jenna, have five children.

Lt. Bryan Skill, who graduated from Middle Township High School before being hired as a class II officer in 2011, was hired provisionally in August 2013 and a year later was hired full time. He became a sergeant in 2018.

Lt. Bryan Skill takes the oath from Jett as wife, Erin, and daughters look on. His badge was pinned on by his father, Robert Caruso, left, a retired North Wildwood police captain. Photo Credit: Christopher South

Skill served as a range instructor at the police academy and on the executive board for PBA Local 59. He is a graduate of the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association Command and Leadership Academy. He and his wife, Erin, have two daughters.

Lt. Brian Harkins was born and raised in North Wildwood, attended Margaret Mace School and graduated from Wildwood High School. He served in the Navy as a corpsman and a rescue swimmer from 1995 to 2004, when he was hired by the department as a class II officer.

Lt. Brian Harkins takes the oath of office from City Clerk Scott Jett, while his wife, Emily, and daughters look on. Photo Credit: Christopher South

In 2005 he was appointed as a full-time police officer and was promoted to sergeant in 2012. Harkins was a member of the Cape May County SWAT Team from 2006 to 2024.

He is the son of Bob Harkins, a retired North Wildwood sergeant, and the nephew of John Harkins, a retired North Wildwood deputy chief.

He and his wife, Emily, have two daughters.

Capt. Adam McGraw was also born and raised in North Wildwood, attending Margaret Mace and graduating from Wildwood High School. He attended Delaware Valley College from 1996 to 1997, playing soccer, and graduated from Gloucester County College in 1999 with an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

Capt. Adam McGraw takes the oath. Holding the Bible is his wife, Jessica. His cousin, Scott McLaughlin, behind Jett, is a retired Marcus Hook (Pennsylvania) police officer and pinned on McGraw’s captain’s badge. Photo Credit: Christopher South

He was hired as a class I officer in 1997, as a class II officer in 1998, and graduated from the police academy’s basic police officer course in 2001, when he received the Physical Fitness Award.

McGraw was hired by the department as a full-time police officer in 2002 and graduated from the county’s Basic SWAT School in 2006. He was promoted to sergeant in 2012 and became the SWAT Team’s Island Team leader in 2014. He became a detective sergeant in 2017 and retired from the SWAT Team in 2020 after serving 14 years.

In 2022, he earned a certified public manager’s certificate from Rutgers University-Newark.

McGraw served at the police academy as an instructor for physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms and less lethal weapons, and as armorer. During his career he has earned various awards, including the Medal of Valor, three lifesaving awards, five letters of commendation and others.

He has participated in the New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics and the Police Unity Tour bike ride to Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Jessica, have two sons, a stepson and a daughter. His badge was pinned on by his cousin, Scott McLaughlin, who is a retired police officer from the Marcus Hook (Pennsylvania) Police Department. McLaughlin pinned on McGraw’s badge when he first became a police officer in 2001.

Contact the reporter, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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