Chief Christopher Wagner
(A new message from Chief Frank Perna will be coming soon!)
Welcome to the newly revised website of the Denville Township Police Department.
I am proud and honored to be the seventh Chief of the Denville Township Police Department. The members of the police department who serve along with me are committed to the highest level of service to the Township of Denville and everyone we come into contact with. We do this by adhering to our core set of values that include integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and compassion. These values can be found in our Mission Statement, which is the foundation for our service to the community. We demand more of each other and that is what sets the Denville Township Police Department apart from others.
While it is our fundamental duty to protect and serve and uphold and enforce the Constitution of the United States and the State of New Jersey, I realize that the police department has many other obligations to its citizens. As you will see from our website, the Denville Township Police Department is multi-faceted and performs many functions besides traditional Law Enforcement Services.
The Patrol Division, comprised of approximately two-thirds of the police force, is highly trained and well educated. The uniformed officers, patrolling the township in marked vehicles, all have the basic training necessary to be an effective police officer and in addition are trained in the latest updates in local, state and federal case law. They have additional training in interviewing crime victims and interrogating suspects, arresting drunk drivers, conducting Identity Theft Investigations, and responding to calls of immediate violent threats against our residents, business owners or schools. Most recently, every member of the department has been trained in Ice Rescue and the administration of Narcan. Seven of our Patrol Vehicles have been outfitted with Ice Rescue Suits and Equipment for the officers to enter onto or into frozen water to rescue victims. Additionally, each patrol vehicle carries Narcan, a prescription medication designed to reverse the effects of an Opiate Drug (Heroin) Overdose.
Crime prevention and education has been one of the primary focuses of my 29-year career with the Denville Township Police Department and I understand the value to the community in savings lives, preventing injuries and educating our children to make good choices. That is why the Denville Township Police Department maintains a Community Services Bureau staffed with well-educated officers trained in a multitude of programs such as Drug Prevention, Child Passenger Safety and Car Seat Installation, School Resource Officers, Crime Prevention and Traffic Engineering. The Community Services Bureau is available to assist any organization, school or neighborhood with any type of Law Enforcement Education Program they desire. The Community Services bureau is also responsible for traffic safety problems throughout the township. They continually update the patrol division with traffic hot spots (speeding complaints, red light violations, and passing stopped school buses) so that the areas can be targeted with additional enforcement. They also place the speed display signs throughout the township. If you have a specific traffic complaint, you can contact the Community Services Bureau via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the past three years, every member of the department participates in an Active Shooter Drill at one of our schools, to ensure our emergency plans and equipment are up to date in the event of a catastrophic incident such as a shooting at a school or other large public building.
While the patrol division is the most visible division of the police department, the Detective Bureau sometimes performs the most important function of our job, investigating serious and sometimes violent crimes and arresting the suspects. Our detectives are also highly trained and educated in the latest law enforcement investigative techniques. They are equipped with state of the art equipment including digital photography, audio and video equipment and computerized fingerprinting devices. The detective’s responsibility is to continue an investigation of a large scale incident or violent crime, interview witnesses, collect evidence, interrogate suspects, write a comprehensive report and forward it to the justice system for prosecution. This is a difficult, sometimes tedious job that requires an attention to detail. The only officers selected to be detectives are those who demonstrate the ability to work in these circumstances.
While I am proud of the work that the members of the department perform every day, I understand that sometimes mistakes are made. Citizens may not be pleased with the interaction with a police officer or the outcome of a request for assistance from a police officer. If that is the case, I encourage you to contact the police department immediately to speak with a supervisor or contact me directly. You will also see that there has been a link placed on our website to the Attorney Generals Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures. There are also directions on how you may make a complaint about officer misconduct or inappropriate behavior. As the chief of police, I take these complaints very seriously and they will be thoroughly investigated by either our department or the appropriate investigating agency. I know that residents and motorists sometimes are very pleased with their interactions with our department members. That is why, in addition to the ability to make a complaint about a police officer, you may also select the tab to compliment an officer. Whether it was something as simple as an interaction during a traffic stop or extraordinary like a lifesaving effort, please take the time to send a compliment to me.
As the chief of police I am committed to maintaining a police department that continues to provide a high level of service to the community. I would encourage you to contact me if you have any questions or concerns or would just like to comment on your experience with the members of the Denville Township Police Department.
Chief of Police, ret.