LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Essex County Chiefs of Police Association held their annual Christmas dinner on the evening of Dec. 5 at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville. Among honorees this year, Livingston’s Chief of Police Craig Handschuch was honored as the Law Enforcement Executive of the Year.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” said West Caldwell Chief Michael Bramhall. “This year, the other members of the Executive Board, including myself as president, felt that Craig was an excellent candidate.”
In addition to receiving the Law Enforcement Executive of the Year award, Livingston Deputy Mayor Michael Rieber and Councilman Michael Silverman also presented Handschuch with a proclamation from the Livingston Township Council citing his dedication and service to the community.
“It was a pleasure for us to represent the Council at the Chief’s dinner,” said Silverman. “As a long time Livingston resident, I understand the relationship that the Chief has within the town as he has lived there for many years as well. It was my honor to be there and present the proclamation.”
Handschuch has been a member of the Livingston Police Department for 35 years and has served in many different roles. He first joined the department as a patrolman in August 1978 and in 1984 he was promoted to detective. One year later, Handschuch was assigned to the Juvenile Bureau as Detective in Charge and by May 1987 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and reassigned to the Uniform Division as a shift supervisor. Within 15 months, he was promoted to the rank of detective lieutenant and positioned to the rank of captain and placed as commander of the Administrative Division. In September 2008, Handschuch was promoted to the rank of Chief of Police.
In addition to his many leadership positions within the Livingston Police Department, Handschuch has served in other external law enforcement capacities. He served a four-year term as president of the Livingston PBA and spent 10 years serving as the president of the Essex County Detectives Association. He was also a member of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office on the Arson Task Force and the Essex-Union Auto Theft Task Force. The chief was also an instructor at the Division of Criminal Justice Academy and holds an Instructor’s Certification in Defensive Driving from the National Safety Council. He also belongs to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and the Essex County Association, where he currently serves as recording secretary.