CRANFORD, NJ – Police Chief James Wozniak will retire from the Cranford Police Department on August 31.

Captain Joseph Van Bergen was appointed acting police chief starting September 1. The resignation and appointment were approved at the most recent Cranford Township Committee meeting on August 15.

“While I wish Chief Wozniak all the best, I am personally very sorry to see him go,” Mary O’Connor, Commissioner of Public Affairs, said at the meeting. “I worked with the chief for almost three years as public safety commissioner. He led our police department to be recognized as one of the top departments in the state. He is a true professional and represents both personally and professionally the very best of what is at the heart of our town. He will be missed.”

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Wozniak was on the force for 27 years and was sworn in as chief in 2014.

“He did great things for the department, really reinforced the community policing and changed the direction of the department in a positive way,” Commissioner Andis Kalnins said. “I really want to thank him for the hard work and wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors.”

The Cranford Police Department declined to comment.