Elections Top Stories

Five Questions with... Joe Cryan

Joe Cryan, Acting Union County Sheriff
Name: Joseph Cryan 
Current Occupation: Acting Sheriff - Union County Sheriff’s Office 
Education: B.A.-Belmont Abbey College
Family (spouse, children, if any)Wife Kathleen-Children John, Megan, Hannah, and Katie 
Years Lived in Union County: 30
Why are you running for Union County Sheriff?                  
I have had the privilege of working as an undersheriff in the sheriff’s office for the past 11 years. Sheriff Froehlich was a good and decent man, and a tremendous leader, and I was honored when he designated me to be his appointed Undersheriff, serving as Acting Sheriff in his absence. With his recent passing, we have worked hard to uphold the values he prioritized throughout the office. In the past months and years, our office has grown and shifted with the changing times, but we have always maintained our focus on security, safety, and shared services with our local towns.                   
What should people know about the Sheriff's position? 
Our office’s primary responsibility is courthouse security, from the officers that greet and screen the over one million unique courthouse visitors annually to the officers who staff each courtroom, ensuring safety for all who must do the people’s business in the county complex.
The focus our office places on shared services helps increase safety and reduce costs for taxpayers throughout the county.  Our crime scene unit responds and processes all homicides in our county, and provides additional expertise where called upon as well.  Our canine unit ensures that municipalities do not incur the expense of dog training and care while having explosive and drug sniffing canines available on just a few minutes’ notice. The Sheriff’s Transportation unit brings prisoners to and from local municipalities, saving town taxpayers money while allowing local police presence to remain fully staffed on the streets. 

This past year, our fugitive unit arrested over 1,400 individuals and is on pace to increase that number this year. Our partnership with the U.S. Marshal’s Office has helped us track wanted fugitives from all over the globe, including recent captures of a child molester in the Dominican Republic and a 15-year fugitive in New Hampshire. 
As part of our partnership with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office we provide personnel to coordinate homeland security, emergency response, and the prosecutor’s domestic violence task force. Along with the county police, we all partnered to institute gun buyback programs that have taken over 1,400 weapons off our streets in the past year alone, including over 450 weapons this past weekend. 
What issues are currently most important in the job? 
Certainly public safety in our courthouse remains our priority, and public safety and coordinated responses with other agencies with emergency response has been our office trademark. Holding down costs to local communities, through shared services like the ones mentioned above, will continue to be a focus.
How does your career to this point qualify you for the position of Sheriff?
Having been the undersheriff for the past eleven years, and the Acting Sheriff as appointed by Ralph Froehlich, I believe I am ready to step in as the sheriff for Union County. I’m honored to have received the endorsements of the state PBA, The County of Union PBA conference, and the PBA unions that represent the sheriff’s office. These hard working professionals have stated their trust in my leadership, and I’m proud of that honor. 
What should people know about you that they might not know?
I had the opportunity to lead our sheriff’s task force to achieve national accreditation, and in 2010 we achieved that recognition. I led the task force for our 2013 reaccreditation by law enforcement professionals from throughout New Jersey, and was pleased we were once again successful.  And as many have asked on the campaign trail, my father John was the Essex County sheriff in the 1970’s. 

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