Addressing the tough times police officers face across the nation, North Bergen Police Chief Robert Dowd said it’s time for a serious discussion about problems such as “institutionalized racism” while being honored by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The freeholders recognized Dowd for being certified as an “Accredited Chief Executive – Chief of Police” advanced by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police last month.
Dowd is the only Hudson County chief of police to receive this accreditation.
The board was not short on compliments when addressing Dowd, who began has career as a North Bergen cop in 1994 and still lives in the township.
“Chief, I just want to applaud you for being a lifelong learner and continuing your education because I know the residents of North Bergen benefit from that. You’re an absolute gentleman, I proudly vote yes,” stated Bayonne Freeholder Kenny Kopacz.
North Bergen Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), who said he’s known Dowd his whole life, noted that the police chief is notorious for setting the bar high: ranking first on his tests for sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
Dowd acknowledged that “this is a difficult time for police” while reflecting on a recent visit to the White House that focused on community and police partnerships.
“Although nationally it seems like police-community relations are broken, and are stressed, this is a tenuous time and there are some really tumultuous things out there.”
“You know, there’s going to have to be, on the side of criminal justice, there has to be some discussions about a not so proud task in this country: of institutionalized racism and some other problems that plague our country,” he explained.
“But policing may have truly then might have been a job, where today it’s a profession and it’s led by educated leaders and young leaders who are actually engaged in our community. We believe in our community.”
North Bergen’s top cop also complimented his counterparts in West New York, Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, Bayonne and Kearny for doing a great job, also commending Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari on the work he’s done.