SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Chief Ted Conley introduced Ryan Cruz, the newest member of the Scotch Plains police department at Tuesday's Township Council meeting. 

A native of Hillside, Officer Cruz is a graduate of Union Catholic High School. He continued his studies at Union County College before taking his Civil Service exam and joining the Hillside police department at the age of 19. After several years of working the night shift, he transitioned to days and became involved in community style policing. 

Officer Cruz has several police certifications, including firearms instructor, and he has received dozens of letters of commendation and awards, including the Hillside Police Valor Award, Distinguished Duty Award, and Life Saving Award (twice). Additionally, he has served as a member of the Hillside Police Honor Guard and of the NJ Asian American Law Enforcement Officers Association for which he holds a position on the organization's executive board.

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Officer Cruz and his wife have one son. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, boating, traveling and playing sports. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.