The changes in leadership at city hall continue, and last week’s major announcement was that Acting Police Chief Drew Niekrasz will take the chief’s post permanently.
Niekrasz was elevated from deputy chief to his new post in a ceremony at city hall
on July 24. He becomes the 19th police chief in the city’s history.
Dozens of people packed the Dorothy E. Harrington City Council Chambers for the event, during which Drew Sisk was named deputy chief.
Niekrasz replaces former chief Ralph Scianni, who retired on June 30.
Mayor James Davis, in office since July 1, said it was his proudest day as mayor thus far, having worked with both officers for 26 years.
“It’s an awesome day for the Bayonne Police Department,” said new Public Safety Director Robert Kubert, a former chief himself, serving until 2012 in that post.
“It couldn’t happen to a better guy; he’s extremely professional and able to rally the troops,” Kubert said of Niekrasz prior to the ceremony. “I welcome him to the ranks of the administration of the Police Department. I have no doubt the members of the department will follow his lead.
“We are just very proud of him,” said Maureen Niekrasz, of her husband. “This is a very big accomplishment after all these years.”
The oath for Niekrasz was administered by Madeline Cox Arleo, United States Magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Niekrasz is in his 27th year with the department. He joined the force in 1988. He is a third-generation member of the county’s public safety community. His father served more than 30 years with the Jersey City Fire Department, and his grandfather served with the Jersey City Police Department.
“It’s déjà vu,” said former police chief James Sisk, of the elevation of his cousin to deputy chief. “I remember the days of getting promoted.”
Drew Sisk had been hired by James Sisk.
“I’m so happy for him and his parents. I’m proud of what he has accomplished,” James Sisk said. “And the same goes for Drew Niekrasz. They’ve both done a great job here.”
The oath for Sisk was administered by Susan Ferraro, corporation counsel for the city and his wife.
The ceremony featured the Bayonne Police Honor Guard and Bayonne Police Pipes & Drums. Fr. John Fencik, Police Benevolent Association chaplain, gave an invocation and benediction.