SUMMIT, NJ - Summit Police Department Captain Andrew J. Bartolotti has been sworn-in as the City of Summit's Chief of Police, taking the oath from Summit Mayor Nora Radest. Bartolotti succeeds Robert Weck, who retired after more than three decades with the department, the last nine years as Chief. Also sworn-in was Lieutenant Richard Proctor, who now occupies the rank of Captain.
Following the ceremony, in a statement issued through the City of Summit Press Office, Radest said:
"This morning I had the distinct honor of swearing in Captain Andrew J. Bartolotti as the new Chief of Police and Lieutenant Richard Proctor as a Captain in the Summit Police Department. I am confident that both men will be exemplary in their roles.
As your mayor and a leader of the Summit Police Department, I want to affirm the deep responsibility we accept to ensure that our system extends equal protection to every Summit citizen regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, and I reiterate our undeviating commitment to preserving human dignity and combatting racism and bias. Our police officers have a sworn duty to uphold the law and protect lives, and a responsibility for continued learning, growth, and improvement as people and as law enforcement officials.
I am proud of the strength of the connection between our police department and our community. I know that Chief Bartolotti is committed to continuing that excellent relationship. Your elected officials are available, now and always, to hear and address your thoughts about our police force and its role in our community."
Bartolotti, whose selection by Radest to be Summit's 'Top Cop' was approved by the City's Common Council on April 28, also via a City-issued statement, said:
"This morning I stood with my family and before Mayor Radest, and pledged to serve the citizens of Summit with integrity, honor, and compassion as your Chief of Police. Throughout my 20 years as a law enforcement officer in the Summit Police Department, I have been perpetually reminded of how fortunate I am to serve in this outstanding community. In good and challenging times, there is no greater place to serve than the City of Summit.
Taking an oath to serve in a community as a police officer requires that our character safeguard and honor the trust and confidence you place in our hands. Unspeakable tragedies can unfold when the public trust is breached by the misconduct of individuals undeserving of the badge they wear. I pledge to you, as your new Chief, that I will work every day to earn your trust and be worthy of the office I now hold.
The men and women of the Summit Police Department understand that the respect and trust you show us is not merely given because of the badge we wear but is earned by how we conduct ourselves while wearing it. As a department, we are committed to protecting each citizen equally with the respect and dignity that all human beings deserve. I vow that all of my officers will be held to this standard and continuously trained to ensure the highest level of professionalism in conducting our duty.
I value the strong relationships I am building with community leaders and remain committed to continuing these conversations to ensure everyone feels safe, secure, and heard. I will maintain an open, accountable and accessible police department for the benefit of all.Thank you."
Further, Bartolotti sent a letter "To the men and women of the Summit Police Department" that reads:
"As we embark on this new chapter in our department’s history together, we find ourselves in a time of unprecedented change. In its simplest form, change is defined as to make or become different, yet eleven weeks ago who could have foreseen how different our lives would become and the number of changes that now lie ahead for us.
I never imagined I would be managing our agency’s response during a global pandemic as officer in charge or engaging in a series of virtual interviews for the position of Chief of Police. While many things were unexpected, the remarkable commitment and resolve shown by each and every one of you during this crisis was not. Recently, when I was asked by several our city leaders how this health crisis changed our organization and impacted our personnel, I simply stated that it had not. What I said that it did do, however, was highlight that our collective response to managing this crisis had set the stage for the future and awakened the realization in us that “change” is not something to fear but rather an opportunity to adapt, overcome and succeed.
And succeed we will. The barometer for our department’s success will be measured by the successes of each woman and man in this organization. As Chief of Police, I fully realize that organizational success cannot be achieved without the input from members at every level. Your input will be requested and valued.
As your Chief, I pledge to serve each of you with the respect and dignity that I expect you to show to everyone we serve, work with, and encounter every day. I assure you that the administration will remain grounded in defending the integrity, honesty and just actions of our officers. Good work will be recognized and your welfare, and that of your families, will remain a high priority. Willful incompetence will not be tolerated, and honest mistakes will be dealt with differently than misconduct.
My pledge to the command staff and supervisory officers is to commit myself to empowering you and providing opportunities for you to enhance your potential as leaders. I believe in the principles of delegation and accountability, and I recognize that responsibility must be accompanied by sufficient authority to accomplish the mission.
In return, I expect your focus and commitment to our mission, to those whom you are responsible for, and to the safety and security of this community. I expect that you will honor your oath in service and to the rank that you hold by being responsible for the performance of your personnel and developing them to succeed and become future leaders of this organization. I also expect your best advice, and for that advice to be given with a focus on the future and success of this department.
To the men and women who serve on the front lines every day, regardless of your individual assignments, I first want to thank you for your dedication and service to our organization, our community and each other. My pledge to you is that I commit myself to ensuring that you are properly trained, equipped, supervised and supported. I commit that you will be well informed and to the best of my ability that you will be provided with opportunities for personal and professional growth.
I understand there are frustrations that inevitably exist, and I ask that you trust and believe that your thoughts and suggestions matter. I pledge to you to create an environment where this is a reality and that your success will be measured against your energy, commitment, and ideas. In return, I expect the highest level of integrity, competence, commitment, compassion, restraint, and respect, in your treatment of each other, your superiors, our department, community and yourselves.
I expect you to be leaders and to remember that there is a need for leadership at every level. Titles are for responsibility, but leadership is about character. Along with me, the command staff and front-line supervisors, you are responsible for the morale and reputation of this department. The oath of a police officer requires that their character safeguard and honor the trust that the public has placed in our hands. I not only expect you to honor that oath and that trust, I expect you to prevent it from being tarnished by others. Our department is committed to pride and excellence by treating citizens, and each other, with courtesy, professionalism, impartiality and respect. To our civilian support staff, your contributions to the organization are undoubtedly an integral part of our success and your roles are no less important than ours. My commitment to you is that, to the best of my ability, I will empower your superiors to challenge you in ways that will establish an efficient, rewarding and enjoyable atmosphere to work. In return, I expect your continued professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm.
In closing, I am honored and excited to serve as your Chief of Police and to the prospect of witnessing firsthand the many successes and opportunities that await you. I ask that you simply challenge yourselves by embracing change and embarking on this new journey with optimism.
Always remember, “If you do this job properly, there is nothing more noble you will do with your life.” (Andrew Jacobs, Sr.)
Stay Safe, stay healthy and thank you.
Andrew J. Bartolotti Chief of Police"
Late last week, Weck was the recipient of a 'clap out' from those very same men and women who protect and serve the citizens of the Hilltop City.
His service to Summit was also heralded in a video produced by Summit-based HTTV.