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East Orange Appoints First Female Police Chief and Youngest Fire Chief in City History


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Police Chief Phyllis Bindi (center right) & Fire Chief Andre Williams (left)
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EAST ORANGE, NJ - The City of East Orange is proud to announce that it has named Phyllis Bindi as the city’s first female police chief and Andre Williams as the city’s youngest fire chief. Both East Orange natives, Chiefs Bindi and Williams will be publicly sworn in during a Public Safety Promotion Ceremony to be held at Messiah Baptist Church on Friday Jan 20 at 6pm. All are welcome to attend.

“These two phenomenal leaders are extremely committed and passionate about the work they do and the people whom they serve. Over the years, they’ve earned the respect of not only their peers, but most importantly the citizens of this community,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III.

In a recent Wall Street Journal analysis of about a dozen urban public safety departments in New Jersey, East Orange was cited as the only one that reflects the community it serves. “Diversity among our police, fire and emergency management divisions in particular is one of the key ingredients in our pursuit to set the standard for urban excellence,” Taylor added. [Bindi is Italian-American and Williams is African American.]

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Police Chief Phyllis Bindi

Chief Bindi has been the Acting Chief of Police for the East Orange Police Department in New Jersey for the past year, leading a department of nearly 200 sworn personnel in a densely-populated urban city that borders the largest city in the state. 

She was first sworn in as an officer in 1991, and during her 25+ year career in law enforcement, she has served in multiple units while rising through the ranks to now lead a department that is recognized as a national leader in technology-led, real-time policing. Throughout her impressive and successful law enforcement career, Chief Bindi has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognitions for bravery and operational excellence from various local and state associations. She has been an integral part in the East Orange Police Department’s change in culture by facilitating a proactive as opposed to reactive police department, decreasing crime by over 75% over the past 15 years, and making the city a safer place to live and conduct business.

Fire Chief Andre Williams

Chief Andre Williams, 43, joined the East Orange Fire Department in October 2003 and served as Captain of Tour 2, Engine 4 for nearly three years before becoming the first Captain in East Orange history to be promoted to Acting Fire Chief in January 2017.

During his 13 years serving the City of East Orange, Chief Williams has worked diligently to increase community awareness of fire safety procedures, expand community outreach, and to foster a positive working relationship with municipal and state leaders. He also has played an active role as a key delegate on the NJ State Legislative and Public Relations Committees to represent the best interests of firefighters and fire officers throughout New Jersey.

In addition to his work with the NJ State Firemen’s Benevolent Association, Chief Williams has also served as Vice President and Executive Delegate of Firefighters Local 23, President of the East Orange Fireman’s Relief Association and the first African American President of Fire Officers Local 223. Always a staunch advocate for volunteerism, Chief Williams regularly participates in numerous community service initiatives, including raising funds to support breast cancer awareness, conducting school and citywide fire education and prevention programs, and preparing holiday meals for hundreds of families in need.

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