HAIL TO THE NEW CHIEF: Jarvis sworn-in as Lyndhurst’s new top cop

The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful.

The crowd assembled at Town Hall Park was filled with optimism.

Pomp and circumstance was about.

This all happened as Richard L. Jarvis Jr., previously a lieutenant with the Lyndhurst Police Department, was sworn in by Mayor Robert Giangeruso as the new chief of the department on Monday, April 8. He replaces outgoing Chief James O’Connor, who retired recently after 39 years on the job.

Before Jarvis was sworn-in, Giangeruso, who also serves as the police commissioner, took time to address the assembled crowd. He praised the new chief, whom he appointed, for his 19 years of dedicated service to the Lyndhurst PD.

“As mayor and public safety commissioner, it is my great honor to choose the officer who I believe will best lead our police department to move forward. Those who already know Lt. Jarvis are aware he is known to be truly humble and kind, full of empathy and compassion,” Giangeruso said.

“Jarvis graduated from Seton Hall University with a bachelor of science degree in 1997. He was sworn into the LPD by then Mayor James Guida in 2001 and attended the Bergen County Law and Public safety institute in Mahwah for his basic police training. He was made sergeant in 2009. And was sworn in as a lieutenant in 2016.”

The mayor pointed to Jarvis’s many areas of expertise, including working in high-intensity drug areas, his counter-terrorism training, weapons of mass destruction training and his being the township’s police liaison to victims of domestic abuse. He is also a certified Alcotest operator and spent time as a field-training officer who worked alongside probationary officers new to the job.

“I am confident Jarvis, the eighth chief, will lead our department to a prosperous future,” Giangeruso said.

The LPD’s Public Information Officer Det. Sgt. Vincent Auteri says he’s confident Jarvis will handle his responsibilities as chief very well.

“Now that Chief Jarvis has been named, we look forward to moving into a new era,” Auteri said. “We are all eager to see the changes that lie ahead and we are certain that our new chief will take this department in the right direction.

“Chief Jarvis is very mindful of the expectations of policing in our growing community and we know he will work diligently to meet those standards. He is hard-working, dedicated and easily approachable.

“Chief James O’Connor was the face of the LPD for a long time and was very dedicated. We are confident Chief Jarvis will make the same commitment to our organization.”

Jarvis, meanwhile, following his swearing-in, spoke briefly to the assembled crowd.

“I am grateful to share the rank of chief of police with one of my greatest mentors, my grandfather, the late William Jarvis,” the new chief said. “He was a great man and leader who was respected by all. He left big shoes to fill and I will do everything I can to be sure he would be proud of the man I have become. I am eager to work with each and every member of this department.”

Jarvis, a day after he took his oath of office, outlined several immediate priorities, including:

  • Aggressively targeting speeders on residential streets, in school zones and high-pedestrian areas.
  • Targeting commercial truck traffic to ensure compliance with designated truck routes and weight restrictions.
  • Working to address traffic safety through education and enforcement.
  • Enforcement of parking laws.
  • Enforcement of quality-of-life issues by issuing township-code summonses.
  • Increasing community policing presence at events and activities throughout the township.
  • Scheduling a meet-and-greet to give residents a chance to sit down with him and other officers to discuss ideas, concerns and issues.

“Open communication is key and we want the township to know that the Lyndhurst PD welcomes feedback,” Jarvis said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the wonderful residents of this township as I serve as Lyndhurst’s Chief of Police. It is our duty to serve and protect and we will continue to strive for excellence. Through hard work, this can and will be accomplished.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.