Tiernan awarded Police Chief of the Year in Delaware

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teaneck Suburbanite

Newark Police Chief Paul M. Tiernan, former Teaneck Police Chief from July 2003 – Jan. 2008, was honored as the Police Chief of the Year by the Delaware League of Local Governments this past weekend. Chief Tiernan was nominated in particular for his initiation of Newark's Crime Suppression Plan and for redefining the primary function of the Traffic Division to reduce collisions.

Chief TiernanNewark has had a reduction of crime that is directly attributable to the Crime Suppression Plan. After analyzing past crime statistics, Chief Tiernan instituted the Plan in fall of 2008 that specifically targeted street robberies and assaults that coincided with the return of the students to University of Delaware. Since the students tend to be the targets of these crimes, Chief Tiernan deploys more officers in areas where such crimes are more likely to occur.

"We are sending a message to these criminals that you cannot do business in Newark. The community will not accept their presence," says Police Chief Tiernan. "We will be vigilant in our protection of University of Delaware students and Newark citizens."

The Chief's changes to the Traffic Division have led to a 17.4 percent reduction in collisions from 2008 to 2010. Prior to the changes made to the Traffic Division, officers investigated all collisions that occurred during their work shifts, which consumed most of their time. When not conducting investigations, the officers would conduct specific enforcement, such as speeding, red light or stop sign violations. Chief Tiernan changed the focus of the Division so that Traffic officers now only investigate serious collisions – usually involving serious injury or death. Routine collisions are now handled by Patrol officers, which allow Traffic officers to focus on targeted enforcement of violations where residents have complained about traffic problems, areas of known violations and accident-prone intersections. Consistent enforcement has led to a more cautionary driving public and reduction of collisions.

"I am using many of the same techniques I used to reduce crime and motor vehicle accidents the fours years I was chief in Teaneck. My years spent in charge of the Teaneck Police Department Community Policing Bureau help me work very closely with the citizens of Newark. I believe serving as chief of police in Teaneck gave me the experience and ability to work in almost any community in America," Tiernan said.