CLARK, NJ – During a special council meeting held on Friday evening, Pedro Matos was sworn in as the new chief of police for the Township of Clark. His son, Andrew, and young nephew, Joey, held the bible as Mayor Sal Bonaccorso administered the oath of office. His wife of 18 years, Barbara, and children Nicholas and Isabella joined him at the podium.
“I wish I could describe in words the feeling of humility and gratitude I have at the moment, but it is truly impossible,” Matos said in a speech following the ceremony. “This promotion comes with a great deal of responsibility to the residents of Clark, the town government and the officers of this department.”
Referring to the officers and detectives under his command as “the backbone of this department,” Matos said, “I want you to know that first and foremost, I will always be a police officer. I always have been and I always will be a police officer. Truth be told, I miss the inside of a patrol car. I will make every effort to be fair, supportive and remain connected to you.”
The oath of office:
Matos was appointed acting police chief on January 31, upon the retirement of Chief Alan Scherb. Scherb attended the Friday swearing-in, as did retired Clark chiefs Anton “Sandy” Danco and Denis Connell. Also in the audience were Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park, First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Isenhour, the police chiefs of Hillside, Mountainside, Roselle, Berkeley Heights and Cranford, and a large contingent of Clark police officers.
Matos is a graduate of Elizabeth High School. He served four years as a United States Marine and completed a tour of duty in Somalia as part of “Operation Restore Hope.” He attended Union County College and joined the Clark Police Department in 1996. He spent his entire career in the patrol division. He has served as the Patrol Division Commander, Domestic Violence Liaison to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Domestic Violence Crisis Response Team Coordinator, the department’s IT coordinator and the department’s Training Coordinator.
“As I stand here tonight I know that I am ready to lead this department with all the help that I know I have, from the town council to the Union County Police Chiefs Association and the Union County Prosecutors Office, I know that I will not fail,” Matos said. “I feel extremely lucky to have such great friends, family and amazing support from so many. I am looking forward to this next step in my life.”