Organization & Management
The Hillside Police Department is directed by Chief Vincent Ricciardi and consists of 70 fulltime regular police officers. There are an additional 13 full-time, civilian employees and one police aide/juvenile counselor. Eight of these civilian employees serve as emergency telecommunications operators; the remainder as administrative law enforcement support staff.
The Patrol Division under the command of Captains Lashonda Burgess (night patrol teams) and Benjamin Niewinski (day patrol teams) provides 24-hour service to the community. Considered the "backbone" of the Hillside Police Department, the Patrol Division is the most visible and most important function in the police department. Members of the Patrol Division respond to all calls for emergency assistance including calls for fire and ambulance service. When a crime is committed, patrol officers are the first to respond to the scene and often arrest suspects as they attempt to flee. Patrol officers conduct preliminary investigations and render assistance to crime victims, accident victims and others. At this time, the Patrol Division consists of two captains, four lieutenants, six sergeants, 36 police officers and eight civilian emergency telecommunications operators.
The Criminal Investigative Division, under the command of Detective Lieutenant David Rodelo, is responsible for the investigation of all crimes committed in the township. The C.I.D. works closely with the Patrol Division and responds to the scene of all serious crimes. Members of the C.I.D. assist patrol officers by searching for suspects and evidence left at crime scenes. They analyze evidence and statements provided by crime victims and witnesses. They conduct follow-up investigations, work cooperatively with other law enforcement agencies to track and pursue offenders who flee to or reside in other jurisdictions, and prepare cases for prosecution after arrest. The Criminal Investigative Division consists of a detective lieutenant, detective sergeant, eight investigators, an evidence and identification specialist, an administrative assistant and a police aide/juvenile counselor.
The Administrative / Training Services Division, under the command of Captain Benjamin Niewinski, is responsible for important support functions such as training, policy development, information technology, grants management, records, research and planning, and fleet management. The Administrative Services Division consists of a sergeant, detective and three civilian employees.
The Traffic Division, under the command of Sergeant Anthony D'Amore, is responsible for a wide variety of important safety-related functions in the community. Members of the unit work to promote safety in and around the schools and throughout the community. They investigate motor vehicle accidents and enforce speed limits throughout the township by aggressive use of radar and other enforcement equipment. They also conduct safety campaigns to combat a variety of offenses such as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and "Aggressive" Driving. The Traffic Division consists of a sergeant and two detectives.