September 6 meant a lot to Ralph Scianni.
It was his son’s 21st birthday – a son who will shortly follow in Scianni’s footsteps and become a police officer.
Sept. 6 was also the day 32 years ago that Scianni was sworn in as a police officer in 1980.
And on Sept. 6 of this year, before hundreds of onlookers and the police chiefs from as far away as Delaware, Connecticut, Toms River and Seaside Heights and as near as West New York, Hoboken and Jersey City, Scianni was sworn in at Bayonne’s 18th police chief.
“It’s not often that I am at a loss for words,” said Mayor Mark Smith in celebrating Scianni’s promotion.
Smith, however, went on to say that during talks with other mayors about replacing key people such as police or fire chiefs, mayors expressed concerns about whether the new person would have the same philosophical approach as they did.
“That notion never entered my head,” Smith said. “I’ve had the opportunity, pleasure and honor of serving alongside this gentleman – this true law enforcement professional – from the day I came on the police department when Ralph was working the detective bureau. Men like him took me by the arm and led me down the right path, showing me the right way to do things. When he came through the ranks, he maintained that sense of professionalism, that sense of dedication, that sense of perseverance. He understood like I do that this is our community, our town, and he has a vested interested here because he married his sweetheart here and is raising his two beautiful sons here.”
Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell said this was a long time coming.
“He has worked very hard and has had an outstanding career,” O’Donnell said. “We face a number of challenges, some that we’ve never faced before. I’m confident that after working with you [Scianni] over the last few months that going forward, we will meet those challenges.”
“This is not about Ralph Scianni. It is about our community.” – Police Chief Ralph Scianni
Up through the ranks
A lifelong Bayonne resident and a decorated veteran from World War II, Scianni rose through the ranks becoming sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 1994, captain in 1997, and deputy chief in 2005. During his police career, Scianni has served in Uniformed Patrol, the Detective Bureau, and the Narcotics Squad. He has specialized in community policing, and served for nearly 12 years in the Community Oriented Policing (COP) Unit. His leadership of the COP program also included supervising the Cops In School Unit. Scianni is a graduate of Bayonne High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business management and organization at St. Peter’s College, as well as a master of arts degree in human resources training development at Seton Hall University. He has participated in continuing education programs: the West Point Leadership and Command School; the community policing certificate program at Delaware State University; and the community policing training program at Michigan State University.
He is a New Jersey state-certified instructor in various policing programs, and a certified D.A.R.E. instructor.
Scianni is the recipient of various awards from the Police Department. These include two Commendations, 10 Excellent Police Service Awards, four Unit Citations, a Citation for 9-11, and a Valor Award for a fire rescue. Scianni has received a Meritorious Service Award from the New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, a Valor Award from the 200 Club of Hudson County, and awards from the Knights of Columbus and the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne.
“I stand before you very humble,” Scianni told the crowed. “This is not about Ralph Scianni, it is about our community. It is about strengthening our bonds with the diverse populations within our city. It is about mutual respect for all, continuing and enhancing two-way communication, keeping an open dialogue with the community always aimed at improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. As we all know, information is the life line of any law enforcement agency and the timely flow of information will help us better serve the community.”