FLORHAM PARK, NJ- Reflecting back on his first 10 months as Chief of Police at the Florham Park Police Department, Robert Treiber explained his community-driven philosophy. “We want to make sure, that any problem somebody has, we fix it—whether it’s a senior citizen calling with their toilet running to a major incident— we can handle it,” he said. “Our job is to solve problems.
In 23 years of serving the Borough of Florham Park as a police officer, Trieber moved up the ranks from patrol to detective to sergeant to lieutenant, and finally, following in his father’s footsteps, chief. “I kind of knew from an early age that this is what I wanted to do,” he said, explaining that his grandfather was a Connecticut state trooper and his father retired as chief of the Florham Park Police Department in 2004. “This is all I know.”
Trieber dove headlong into the position after being sworn in last September. He developed a list of clearly-defined goals, which he intended to check off within his first 100 days as chief. One of the most prominent items on the list was listening to the needs of the community. Under his leadership, the police department sent a survey to the community, asking about their priorities, concerns and expectations.
“The survey was really good,” Treiber said, explaining that it served to highlight key issues, such as speeding, underage drinking and drug use, which needed to be addressed within the community. “It showed that the town supports the police, and we’re going in the right direction.”
In response to the community’s feedback, the police department increased education and enforcement regarding speeding. Additionally, they are bringing new initiatives into the schools to prevent underage drinking and driving and drug abuse. One such program, called “Share the Keys,” was developed to educate new drivers about the laws regarding drinking and driving. The police department is also leading a program which educates the parents about indicators of alcohol and drug use.
With its effort to engage the community, the Florham Park Police Department is starting young. Treiber initiated a bike helmet reward program, which awards kids with a coupon for a free donut or ice cream if they are wearing a helmet. And for the older kids, their names are placed in the drawing for a $100, $200, and $300 gift card which will be given out at the police department’s National Night Out on August 2.
“All of our guys, from our civilian staff to our officers on the road, are very engaged with the community,” Treiber continued, explaining that all the officers have individualized trading cards, which the kids in the community have started to collect. “We give them to the kids so this kind of breaks down barriers,” he said. “It kind of allows the kids to meet our guys in a non-enforcement manner.”
Born and raised in Florham Park, Treiber loves the combination of small-town and rising business that the area allows. With his community policing philosophy, he plans to continue to meet the needs of its residents.