IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss and Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers promoted 25 new sergeants in the Irvington Police Division during a promotion ceremony inside Council Chambers on Wednesday, May 1.
Vauss said Municipal Clerk Harold Wiener swore in all of the new sergeants.
“We made history,” said Bowers on Tuesday, May 7. “In September, we’re putting a new class into the police academy, so the sergeants that we’ve made now will still be working in their respective positions when it comes to patrol, traffic, investigation, etc. And the added benefit is that they’re also getting trained as supervisors.”
Bowers said that training would come in handy for everyone in town, once the new class of IPD recruits enters the academy, undergoes training, graduates and gets sworn in as new police officers. In the meantime, the 25 new sergeants will be doing regular police work, despite their new rank, meaning the township won’t suffer any decrease in policing and public safety.
“Once these new recruits come out of the academy, they will be totally replaced,” said Bowers. “If you’re a sergeant, you can still do the job of a rank-and-file police officer. This is a win-win for the Police Division, the community and the whole township.”
Vauss agreed that promoting the 25 new sergeants was a win-win situation, but declined to comment about it on the record, leaving Bowers to explain more in-depth.
“Yes, it was needed, because of all of the attrition that we’ve had,” said Bowers. “We’ve had a lot of veteran officers and experienced commanders that have retired from the department in recent years and we need to replace them. We’ll never replace their experience, but we can do our best to make sure that Irvington doesn’t lose anything, in terms of public safety, after they leave.”
IPD PBA President Maurice Gattison could not be reached for comment by press time, but according to Bowers and Vauss, the promotions mean the 25 new sergeants will be moving into the Superior Officers Association union.
Bowers said change is the one true constant in life and police work and promoting the 25 new sergeants is a positive change for the IPD and township. He also said he has one standing order for all the new sergeants.
“Keep doing the good job as sergeants that you were doing as regular police officers, so that we can keep progressing forward, in terms of all the public safety gains and improvements that you made possible through the hard work and dedication that you did to get promoted,” said Bowers. “Teach the people under you what you know, so that they can become high-quality officers, like you were and are. Remember, that’s what got you promoted in the first place.”
“Institutional knowledge is important,” said Bowers on Wednesday, May 1. “Having a supervisor that can guide you through your work is an important benefit. They’re going to have to be the leaders and role models that set the standards for the new younger cops that are coming up on the job, that are going to be looking at them to show them the right way to do the job. It’s a big responsibility.”