Stafford Police Chief Elected President of New Jersey State Association of Police Chiefs
Stafford police chief elected president of New Jersey National Association of Chiefs of Police
STAFFORD, NJ – July 2022 – Thomas Dellane has dedicated his professional career to public service in his community – serving 35 years in the police service and now entering his seventh year as Chief of Police.
Starting July 1, the Stafford resident has a much broader statewide role, serving as president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) for a term. one year. Its primary purpose: To continue to reduce polarization between law enforcement and New Jersey communities while building bridges that enhance understanding, cooperation, and communication.
“My personality has always been to get involved and try to make things better as much as possible,” said Dellane, who joined the NJSACOP board in 2018. a role in developing policies and procedures for law enforcement professionals.”
For example, in his leadership role with NJSACOP, he was involved with a committee that educates New Jersey about the 988 emergency line. seizures and suicide, replacing the 1-800 number used by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Dellane, who is also an attorney, has testified before the state Legislature on behalf of NJSACOP, as well as written to state legislators to outline the association’s position and perspective on various proposed laws.
“Chief Dellane is an exemplary leader of this association and a mentor to many,” said NJSACOP Executive Director Mitch Sklar. “He is another great advocate for all police chiefs, as well as the policing profession. Chief Dellane continues to serve on numerous boards, committees and task forces; they are simply too numerous to list. He is always ready to step in when the need arises and to have an immediate impact.
As chair, Dellane said, he will focus on the police licensure proposal; a bill is now before Governor Phil Murphy. If the legislation is passed, the Police Training Commission will need to establish rules, as well as policies and procedures. “There will be many opportunities to provide information and NJSACOP must be involved in this process,” he said.
Dellane also focuses on the bill regulating the use of marijuana for police officers. Under current law, law enforcement is permitted to use cannabis for recreational purposes outside of work hours. NJSACOP strongly opposed this, calling on the state legislature to close the loophole as part of efforts to maintain public trust.
“When a bill involving policing is discussed and debated in Trenton, our association must speak up at committee hearings and ensure our voice is continually heard,” Dellane said. “We need to provide more testimony on a host of pressing issues, ensuring our concerns are heard when elected leaders debate new policies.
Another area of concern is the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), designed to ensure transparency in government by providing easy access to public information. Dellane is a strong supporter of OPRA when used correctly. But some private attorneys have abused the system, using police personnel to research vehicle accidents and providing information that could potentially be used to secure clients and settlements.
“There is widespread abuse of the OPRA, in which commercial companies ask the police department to do their job for them,” the chief said. “While I believe in the important transparency of the OPRA, there continues to be commercial abuse. On a weekly basis, Stafford will receive OPRA requests from two separate companies, asking for accident reports that could be sold to lawyers Municipal workers should not be used as research arms.
Dellane, who earned a law degree from Rutgers-Camden in 2008, is also chairman of the board of the Middle Atlantic Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network, part of a regional information-sharing system.
Since 2015, the chief has served for the International Association of Chiefs of Police on a policy center advisory group, which reviews all proposed policies.
Locally, Dellane volunteered with the Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation for 10 years, serving as co-chair of South Jersey fundraising events. He is also the founder and chairman of the Stafford Township Police Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and advances law enforcement and their families.
Additionally, Dellane is heavily involved in the On POINT (Proactive Outreach In Needs and Treatment) program at Stafford, in which the department works closely with social workers to provide emergency mental health services to the public. The program handles the high volume of mental health, addictions and social services calls and incidents that use a significant volume of police and emergency resources. The program was launched in Stafford and quickly expanded to nine other municipalities.
Learn more at njsacop.org
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