Organization & Management
The Hillside Police Department is directed by Chief Louis Panarese and consists of 62 fulltime, regular police officers. There are an additional 13 fulltime, non-sworn civilian employees and one police aide/juvenile counselor. Eight of these civilian employees serve as emergency telecommunications operators.
The Patrol Division provides 24-hour service to the community. Considered the "backbone" of the Hillside Police Department, the Patrol Division is the most visible and most important function in the police department. Members of the Patrol Division respond to all calls for emergency assistance including calls for fire and ambulance service. When a crime is committed, patrol officers are the first to respond to the scene and often arrest suspects as they attempt to flee. Patrol officers conduct preliminary investigations and render assistance to crime victims, accident victims and others. At this time, the Patrol Division consists of a captain, four lieutenants, eight sergeants, two K-9 Officers, 30 police officers and six (6) civilian emergency telecommunications operators.
The Detective Bureau, under the command of Det. Lieutenant Louis Rufino, is responsible for the investigation of all crimes committed in the township. The Detective Bureau works closely with the Patrol Division and responds to the scene of all serious crimes. Members of the Detective Bureau assist patrol officers by searching for suspects and evidence left at crime scenes. They analyze evidence and statements provided by crime victims and witnesses. They conduct follow-up investigations, work cooperatively with other Police Departments to track and pursue offenders who flee to or reside in other jurisdictions, and prepare cases for prosecution after arrest. The Detective Bureau consists of a detective lieutenant, one detective sergeants, 5 investigators, 2 evidence and identification specialists, 1 clerk-typists and a police aide/juvenile counselor.
The Administrative / Training Services Division, under the command of Sgt. Michael Gennaro and Sgt. Natalie Ogonowski , is responsible for important support functions such as personnel, training, information technology, grants management, records, research and planning. The Administrative Services Division consists of two sergeants, and 3 civilian employees.
The Traffic Bureau, under the command of Lieutenant Michael Katsoudas, is responsible for a wide variety of important safety-related functions in the community. Members of the unit work to promote safety in and around the schools and throughout the community. They investigate motor vehicle accidents and enforce speed limits throughout the township by aggressive use of radar and other enforcement equipment. They also conduct safety campaigns to combat a variety of offenses such as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and "Aggressive" Driving. At this time, the Community Safety Bureau consists of a lieutenant, and 1 sworn police officer.