True Blue Spotlight – Alumnus Appreciates Life as Small-Town Police Chief in New Jersey
It might be difficult to find someone with more True Blue spirit than Nicholas Peditto (’94), the police chief in Lumberton Township, New Jersey. Walk into his office and his love for Georgia Southern University is obvious. It’s decorated with college memorabilia, from hats and banners to old Coke bottles when the Eagles won national football championships.
Peditto says he is proud of his Georgia Southern experience and degree, and is honored to wear the police uniform in the town where he grew up. Since joining the department in 1996, he has served as a field training officer, detective, corporal, sergeant and patrol lieutenant.
“I love the ability to help people that otherwise I may not have had.” he said. “People contact the police because they need help, not just to say hi! This profession allows us to help people, to make a positive difference in their lives and to see people years later who thank you for what you did for them. They tell you how their life is better because of what you did and that is priceless.”
With a population of less than 15,000, Peditto says he cherishes life in small town Lumberton.
“I enjoy living in a small town because I get to know more people on a first-name basis, our kids grow up together, and we don’t have as many issues as big cities do,” he said.
While a student at Georgia Southern, Peditto played intramural sports and worked for three years refereeing intramural softball and basketball games.
“Up until I attended Georgia Southern I had always lived at home,” he noted. “Going there, I grew as a man and a student, becoming responsible and independent. I would describe it as a life-changing opportunity. My professors prepared me in more ways than I ever imagined and I attribute my success to the guidance and education I received at Georgia Southern.”
The police chief has many incredible and rewarding memories of his time at Georgia Southern.
“I remember everyone running down the streets when the Braves came back and beat the Pirates, and all the Eagle championships,” Peditto said, as he fondly recalled his favorite memories. “I have so many. If I have to pick one I would say catching a Todd Greene home run ball my second year at Georgia Southern and getting him to sign it after the game. I saw him a few years later at a Philadelphia Phillies game when he played for the San Francisco Giants and I caught a ball during warm ups and he signed that one as well.”
The True Blue alumnus never misses a televised Eagles football game and “follows many of the sports writers on Twitter to keep up with the team.”
– Sandra Bennett