As the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka will be sworn in as President of the organization later this week.
Over the past century, the association has worked developing leadership in the command ranks of New Jersey law enforcement officers. For Chief Hayducka, serving the one-year term as President during a milestone year for the group is a distinct honor.
"I'm excited and it's obviously a great responsibility," Hayducka said. "It's a very time consuming challenge but I'm looking forward to it."
Hayducka is a 24-year veteran of the police force and has served as chief in South Brunswick since 2005. The volunteer position of President of the state Association of Chiefs of Police offers Hayducka a chance to bring to the forefront many of the issues facing various law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey.
"I want to bring the voice of law enforcement to work with out elected leaders to address the changing landscape," he said. "We need to have our voices heard before any decisions are made that impact our agencies."
With the economy causing widespread police layoffs around New Jersey, Hayducka said law enforcement must continue to evolve and seek efficient methods that maximize the resources that are available.
"We need to share information, collaborate and look at innovative ways to police our towns through the use of technology," he said. "More importantly, we need to let our elected officials know that when they do reduce manpower there is an impact. We need to make sure our legislators are aware of the implications from any decision regarding a reduction in manpower."
Hayducka plans on introducing concepts that streamline training demands departments face in order to save money for their communities. Other goals include increased training and mentoring for new leaders in law enforcement, and an expansion of the usage of less lethal options for officers.
Hayducka also stressed the importance of building a relationship between the community and local law enforcement agencies, pointing to the success of South Brunswick's community policing program.
"I think it's been a significant factor in keeping crime down. We've traditionally had a solid connection with our community," Hayducka said. "If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. We can't do it alone. The more eyes and ears we have, the more information we receive, the better off we are. Our partnership with our community is related to the success of our agency."
Hayducka will be sworn in during the 100th Anniversary Law Enforcement Expo in Atlantic City on Wednesday. The Expo showcases the latest technology and advances in law enforcement. Thousands of security, corrections, and police officials are expected to attend the three-day event.
As he begins to serve as head of the state organization, Hayducka credited his time in South Brunswick for preparing him for the role.
"It's been a great experience here and I believe we have the best police department in the state because of our great personnel," he said. "Our governing body has also been very supportive of me as chief and they've done everything they can to provide this agency with the best equipment and funding so we can police this town."