The Township of Bloomfield is located in Essex County, New Jersey. Bloomfield Township is approximately five square miles and is located 18 miles west of New York City. According to the United State Census, the population of the town in 2010 was 47,315 with 18,387 households and 11,768 families. The racial makeup of the township was 59.61% (28,205) White, 18.51% (8,757) Black,.41% (193) Native American, 8.22% (3,891) Asian,.04% (21) Pacific Islander, 9.35% (4,423) form other races and 3.86% (1825) from two or more race’s (US CENSUS 2010). Making Bloomfield a unique and diverse community to live and police.
Law enforcement in the area, now known as Bloomfield, fell under the constabulary method from 1668-1900 when the present police department was established. The history of law enforcement finds its origins dating back to the colonists from Connecticut who founded the area, then known as Newark, in 1666. Before the Police department was established constables and justices of the peace represented law and authority in the community. The first on record to be appointed to the office of constable was Thomas Johnson at a town meeting in January 1688. Mr. Johnson would hold this office for five years.
Before the police department was formed, constables and justices of the peace represented law and order in the community. One or two constables patrolled the town. Later, as population growth expanded, four or five Marshall’s took their place. It was not until much later, at a public meeting in early 1900, that the town council passed a resolution to establish the Bloomfield Police Department. The department started with only three officers: Louis M. Collins, Thomas McKane and James Foster. On April 2, 1900 Louis M. Collins was appointed to the office of Chief of Police for the Bloomfield Police Department. He would hold the position from 1900 until his retirement in 1927. Chief Collins would see the police force grow from the original three to almost 54 police officers by the time he retired in 1927.
By 1928, the Police department was growing so rapidly that the first Bloomfield Police Headquarters were constructed on Conger Street, near Glenwood Avenue. During that time, policemen were provided with bicycles to chase down speeding vehicles. Later, motorcycles replaced the bicycles for all traffic enforcement. In 1928 the department had five motorcycles and three police cars.
In the 1960’s, a new police headquarters was constructed on the corner of Municipal Plaza and Franklin Street, were it still stands today. Presently, the police department is comprised of approximately 125 sworn men and women. These men and women are assisted by a number of civilian workers helping to achieve the mission of the police department.
Currently, under the guidance of Samuel DeMaio, Director, the department has seen a wide variety of change. Most notably, the department is moving into a new era of technology based policing. Equipped with state of the art computer and camera systems, the department has been able to utilize crime analysis, crime mapping and predictive policing to help in the strategic deployment of assets, thus, allowing the department to make great strides in reducing crime and making our community a safer place to live and work.
At the center of any great police agency is a strong and clear mission statement, setting forth the goals and objective of the agency to not only the officer within the department but also putting the general public on notice to the agency’s intentions. The following mission statement is a guide that each officer in our department follows daily: The mission of the Bloomfield Police Department is to provide effective, competent public safety service to all individuals with the highest regard for human dignity. Our mission is to provide the best possible services through efficient, professional, and ethical crime prevention and law enforcement practices” (Director Samuel DeMaio).
In the 115 year history of the Bloomfield Police Department we have been led by 14 Chiefs of Police and 2 Police Directors. The following is a list of those men and their years of service:
- Chief Louis M. Collins (April 2, 1900 - 1927)
- Chief Joseph Huddy Sr. (1928 - 1937)
- Chief Charles Jensen (1937 - 1946)
- Chief Arthur Wilhelm (1946 - 1947)
- Chief John Whelan (1947 - 1950)
- Chief Thomas Spatcher (1950 - 1953)
- Chief Fred Hess (1953 - 1965)
- Chief Mitchel Dario (1966 - 1973)
- Chief Anthony Castagno (1973 - 1986)
- Chief John McNiff (1986 - 2005)
- Chief Michael Sisco Sr. (2005 - 2009)
- Chief Mark Leonard (2009 - 2011)
- Chief Christopher Goul (2011 - 2014)
- Director James Behre (2014- 2015)
- Director Samuel DeMaio (2015- Present)
Currently the Bloomfield Police Department is making great strides in reducing crime and quality of life issues within the township. In 2015, the police department received 110,000 emergency 911 calls. They took in 85,450 written reports and interacted with the community a countless number of times. During 2015, the police department reduced crime from the previous year by 28%, one of the largest crime reductions in any community in New Jersey.
As indicated in the Bloomfield Police Departments Executive Summary for 2015, UCR part 1 offences were reduced by 28% in 2015 compared to 2014, accounting for 877 part 1 offences in 2015 compared to 1,212 part 1 offenses in 2014, the first time in recent history below 1,000. The greatest reduction was in the amount of auto theft in the community. With a reduction of 56%, this equates to 75 auto thefts in 2015 compared to 170 auto thefts in 2014. Followed by a reduction in burglaries of 52% or 106 burglaries in 2015 compared to 219 burglaries in 2015. Of all the part 1 offences, the only one to increase from the previous year was aggravated assaults, with 33 in 2015 compared to 23 in 2014.
A contributing factor in the reduction in crime was the amount of interaction the police department had with the community. Field interviews were record at 1,421 for 2015. Moving violations (tickets) were up 464% over 2014, with 17,763 moving violations issued in 2015 compared to 3,150 in 2014. Arrests were up 87% with 1,930 in 2015 compared to 1,030 in 2014. These activity numbers played a significant role in the overall reduction in crime. The most powerful number of all may be the internal affairs complaints, which stayed even from the previous year. This number shows that even with a significant increase in community interactions (good/bad), the total number was the same from the previous year.
View the full Bloomfield Police Department History photo gallery.