Hedenberg heads to the head of the class

If there’s any doubt as to whether North Arlington Police Chief Scott Hedenberg places a lot of value on cops getting a strong education — and keeping up on the latest trends in law enforcement — he’s answered that question twice recently.

Hedenberg graduated from the Mid-Atlantic Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (MALEEDS) on June 14 in Princeton, as a member of the 27th-ever program session. He was one of 60 men and women from law-enforcement agencies in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

MALEEDS has hosted its annual training conference at Princeton University each year since 1993.  This opportunity is designed to provide leadership-training for police chiefs and law-enforcement executives. MALEEDS is recognized as one of the premier selective law-enforcement leadership-training programs in the nation.

“The course content, lecturers and learning environment are second to none,” Hedenberg told The Observer last week. “In my 25-year experience of law enforcement training and education, the information, lessons, resources and personal experiences will be an immense help moving forward.”

MALEEDS, one of 26 FBI LEEDS regional command colleges across the country, is a highly successful and selective program that provides insight into some of the many challenges facing today’s police executives.

Participation is by invitation only and is awarded through an exceptionally competitive application process.  Class size is limited in order to maximize the interaction between instructors and attendees during this comprehensive training program.

The program is sponsored by the Newark, New York and Philadelphia Divisions of the FBI, along with active and retired law-enforcement officers from the former Princeton Borough and the Princeton Township police departments, the Princeton University Department of Public Safety and the River Vale Police Department.

Upon successfully completing MALEEDS, graduates become part of a larger FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) organization.  FBI-LEEDA provides leadership training to police officers throughout the year and has a training conference every spring.

“The program is very progressive, and shows the need, for both leaders and the profession as a whole, to think this way,” Hedenberg said of the program. “Growth, change, perspective and collaboration are just some of the key factors reinforced as hallmarks of any great organization.”

The chief says it’s vitally important for him and his members to stay ahead of the learning curve since things are constantly evolving in law enforcement.

“With so much changing in this profession, and in our world, it’s really important to grow through learning,” Hedenberg said. “It’s also so true that learning is a lifelong process. To continue that process allows us to remain informed and prepared to deal with the challenges in front of us. Learning from past mistakes and successes is also very important in this profession, coupled with an open and progressive mind for the future.”

And because of that, the chief encourages all of his officers to seek continuing education.

“I strongly recommend any professional to continue their education, providing they accurately identify a program that is beneficial for their needs,” the chief said. “There are degrees, certificate programs and in-service training available that can build a great foundation professionally.  I was fortunate in the sense that my educational programs provided me an exceptional learning, mentoring and networking environment that has been a tremendous asset.”

Now while the MALEEDS Program is, indeed, prestigious, it’s not the only educational course Hedenberg has completed recently. The chief just earned a master’s degree, as well. And while it’s all time-consuming on top of all of his chief duties, it’s all for the betterment of the North Arlington PD and the people the department serves, he says.

And who knows? Could Hedenberg perhaps take all this knowledge and share it with others?

“I feel very fortunate to have had these professional and educational opportunities, especially the networking that goes with it,” Hedenberg said. “Many of my mentors and peers continue to encourage me to continue my education, and some even suggest I get involved as an educator. I think for now I would like to focus on and apply what I have learned and maybe down the road determine what training or education is out there to fill any additional needs.”

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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.