RICHARD H. BERDNIK

 

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

A law enforcement professional with a distinctive twenty-eight year career in the Clifton, New Jersey, Police Department. A senior Juvenile Division commander with a variety of managerial, technical, and investigative responsibilities. Has enjoyed a progressive career centered in highly sensitive investigations, management and supervision of law enforcement and civilian personnel. Day to day responsibilities include: implementing policies and procedures, review and assignment of incoming investigations, case management, fleet management and supervision of the Tactical Response Team. Additional responsibilities include overseeing the operation of the Anti-Crime Unit and serving as a police instructor at the Passaic County Police Academy. Well respected by peers from local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and has a natural ability to lead, direct and define accountability for daily operations. Plans, forecasts and considers future impact and risk assessment of all operations. A self-motivated professional who works well under pressure, enjoys new challenges and exercises sound decision making with well-founded experience.


PERSONAL SUMMARY

I have been an active law enforcement officer for almost thirty years. I believe that my background uniquely qualifies me for the position of Passaic County Sheriff. My performance evaluations during my career have always been outstanding. I enjoy police work and I believe that I have the necessary leadership qualifications to encourage my employees to accomplish our mission.

Detectives from my Juvenile Division have made numerous quality arrests and two of them were selected as the “Cop of the Year” for the Clifton Police Department for the past two consecutive years. I have experience dealing with a diverse group of employees as well as members of the general public. I am a loyal person who has an energetic personality. I enjoy serving the public and am at ease with public speaking. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of Passaic County at a higher level.

I am married to my wife Monica, a pediatric nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, for twenty-five years and have four children.

I promise to serve the citizens of Passaic County in a professional manner and enhance the safety of our citizens.

 

 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE


  • Burglary/theft investigations
  • Criminal/civil court testimony
  • Background investigation
  • Crime prevention
  • Knowledge of NJ criminal justice code
  • Department of drug testing
  • Physical and electronic surveillance
  • Risk assessment

 

EXPERIENCE


2011-Present

 

Sheriff of Passaic County

 

1982-2010

City of Clifton Police Department
Clifton, New Jersey
Detective Lieutenant


2002-2008


Tactical Response Team Commander 

Led numerous raids and search warrant executions. Worked with various
agencies throughout the State.

2002-2008


Detective Lieutenant
Internal Affairs Commander

Conducted and supervised departmental internal affairs investigations. Maintained all reports and worked closely with Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office White Collar Crime Unit. Personally involved and testified in various court proceedings and conducted background investigations.

2000-2002


Police Lieutenant,
Department Training Officer

Conducted departmental pre and post academy training. Taught recruits department policy and procedures. Taught in-service courses to veteran officers. Scheduled officers for various training courses. Summarized court decisions for dissemination to all member of the Police Department. Served as the Director of Special Police. Supervised twenty Special Police Officers who provided security at special events and patrolled of the City’s parks. Maintained training records.

September 2001


Supervised a team of Clifton Police Department volunteers who responded to the World Trade Center disaster. Assisted other agencies in hand picking through the ruins, searching for signs of life.


1996-1998


Detective Sergeant,
Juvenile Division

Supervised eight detectives in the juvenile division. Active in investigations and case management. Served as the Bias Crime Investigator.

1992-1996


Police Sergeant
Field Operations Division

Patrol sergeant assigned to supervise approximately ten patrol officers on various shifts.

1991-1992


Crime Prevention Officer

Collected comprehensive data, investigated residential/commercial burglaries, conducted crime watch meetings and lectured various civic organizations on personal security and crime prevention.

1989-2001


Executive Protective Systems,
Clifton, NJ

Served as co-owner and vice president of a company that specialized in residential/commercial fire and security systems. Personally provided site assessment and was hands on in the installation of all systems.

1987-1991


Police Officer Tactical/Narcotics Squad

Responded to all priority street crimes, conducted surveillance and extensive narcotics investigations. Prepared detailed reports and testified in court on a regular basis.

1982-1987


Police Officer,
Field Operations Division

First responder to all assigned public safety related calls for service. Recipient of several valor awards and commendations related to duties as a patrolman.

1979-1982


Auxiliary Police Officer
City of Passaic, NJ

Assisted Passaic Police Department in all facets of police patrol work.

1979-1982


Security Officer
Passaic General Hospital

Responsible for the safety of patients, employees and visitors to the Hospital.

 

 

EDUCATION


University of Virginia, 1998
Matriculated course credits in criminal justice


FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia, 1998
Graduate of the 192nd session


Caldwell College, 1997
Matriculated course credits in criminal justice


Seton Hall University, 1983
Matriculated course credits in criminal justice


New Jersey State Police Academy, 1982
New Jersey Police Training Commission,
Certified Police Officer


Clifton High School, New Jersey, 1978
High School Diploma


 

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS


Member of the FBI National Academy Associates


Member of the New Jersey Honor Legion of Decorated Officers


Member of the Passaic County Chiefs of Police Association


Member of the International Chiefs of Police Association


Registered member of the SORA (Security Officers Registration Act)


Member of the Superior Officer’s Association


Parishioner of St. Andrew’s Church, Clifton, NJ – Eucharistic Minister


 

 

AWARDS

During his career in law enforcement, Lt. Berdnik has received the following awards:

May 1, 1984

Exceptional Service Medal 

Received as a patrol officer for exercising extraordinary courage and restraint when confronted by an emotionally disturbed individual armed with two knives.

December 7, 1986

Honorable Service Medal 

Involved in the pursuit of an armed robbery suspect who rammed several police cars in an attempt to avoid capture. Officer Berdnik using his patrol vehicle forced the vehicle to stop and arrested the actor without regard for personal safety.

June 22, 1989

Excellent Police Duty Award 

Received as a patrol officer for diligence and keen observation that resulted in the arrest of a subject for burglary and drug paraphernalia. This arrest resulted in clearing several additional burglaries.

October 23, 1991

Life Saving Medal 

Received as a patrol sergeant for entering a burning apartment building on Center Street. With his courage and swift response, he removed an infant, elderly woman and pet from danger.

June 25, 1995

Honorable Service Medal
Received as a patrol sergeant for making a motor vehicle stop that resulted in the arrest of several persons for possession of two loaded handguns along with a quantity of narcotics.

November 20, 2003

Meritorious Service Medal 

Received as Detective Lieutenant for diligently observing an armed robbery in progress. He and his partner then disarmed and arrested the suspect who was wanted for two prior armed robberies.

 

 

IN-SERVICE TRAINING AND CERTIFICATES

During the course of his twenty-eight year career with the City of Clifton Police Department Sheriff Berdnik received specialized training in all aspects of Law Enforcement. Most notably he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. This is an intensive eleven week course in Law Enforcement Leadership. Only one percent of all active law enforcement officers are graduates of the National Academy. One distinct advantage it provides is the ability to network within the United States as well as foreign countries. Since his graduation from this Academy, in order to keep current, Sheriff Berdnik has attended numerous refresher courses sponsored by the FBI to keep its graduates up to date in regard to the latest trends in law enforcement. Sheriff Berdnik is also certified as a Police Instructor by the New Jersey Police Training Commission and has received Advanced Narcotics Training from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). He is a certified Firearms Instructor, a certified Radar Operator, a pursuit driving instructor and a certified Alcotest Operator. Sheriff Berdnik has received training that enabled him to become the Bias Officer for the Clifton Police Department.

In addition, Sheriff Berdnik has received training in the following aspects of police work among others:

 
  • Supervision and Management of Police Personnel
  • Crisis Intervention
  • DNA evidence
  • Tactical Command School
  • Hostage Negotiation
  • Major case management
  • Child abuse
  • Press relations
  • Internal Affairs Investigations
  • Street Gang Recognition and Awareness
  • Background Investigations
  • Violence Prevention in the Schools
  • New Jersey State Police Basic Course for Police Officers

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