His relentless pursuit of wrongdoers earned him the nickname “Hound Dog” and now, a new title: Chief of Police.
Mark DiCarlo, sworn in Wednesday as Morris Township’s 12th police chief, pledged to earn public trust by improving diversity on the force and following best practices “to keep our children, schools, businesses, residents and motorists as safe as possible.”
“Our focus will be on professionalism and customer service,” said DiCarlo, a 21-year veteran of the department who succeeds John McGuinness, who retired last month after 36 years of service.
Township Administrator and former Police Chief Tim Quinn cited a long list of commendations and achievements for the officer, praising his diligence at the Township committee meeting.
“He just had a knack for police work, and we always knew great things were going to come for Mark,” said Quinn, who nicknamed DiCarlo “Hound Dog.”
“Every time he went out there–I was in the detective bureau at the time–he was always bringing in a narcotics arrest. Doesn’t matter what zone you put him in, he was coming in with an arrest, he was producing,” Quinn said.
In 2010, when Quinn was chief, a captain informed him of an unfolding investigation into the suspected murder of a young child.
Informed that DiCarlo was the first officer on the scene, Quinn responded, “Thank God,” explaining “you knew that it was going to be handled correctly, with that kind of investigation.”
‘HE EARNED THESE PROGRAMS’
After a decade as a patrolman, which included a stint with a special enforcement unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, DiCarlo was assigned to the detective bureau in 2006. He made captain last year, serving along the way as the department’s field training- and communications officer and firearms instructor.
DiCarlo helped crack a prostitution ring in which authorities seized $250,000, Quinn said. He was honored by the Morris County Detectives Association for a burglary and theft investigation involving firearms, and by the Knights of Columbus for arresting an armed robbery suspect. He also has a pair of life-saving commendations for administering CPR.
The new chief holds degrees from the County College of Morris and Thomas Edison State College, and a master’s degree in justice administration and public policy from the College of Saint Elizabeth. He also has participated in police leadership programs in New Jersey, Florida and Manchester, England.
“He earned these programs, he was selected to go to these programs, because of what he has done in his career,” Quinn said.
‘A NEW BEGINNING’
DiCarlo’s father held the Bible during a swearing-in ceremony attended by Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, county Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Paul, and four former Township police chiefs. One of them, Dennis Reilly, traveled from Iowa, according to Committeeman Dan Caffrey.
“It’s a tribute to you and the work you’ve done,” Caffrey told DiCarlo.
“We’re looking forward to wonderful things from you,” added Committeewoman Louise Johnson.
Police from Morristown and Madison covered for Township officers so they could attend the ceremony.
Committeeman Matheu Nunn, who has worked for the Prosecutor’s Office and as municipal prosecutor, appeared to reference a past controversy when he pointedly addressed the assembled police:
“I hope everyone standing in here realizes that this is a new beginning. You have a new chief … embrace this opportunity to work with the new chief,” Nunn said.
An officer was disciplined in 2014 for a lewd email denigrating Quinn, the Township administrator, during a contract negotiation.
MATTER OF TRUST
DiCarlo promised “a harmonious workplace” and a police force that will preserve “equality, dignity [and] fairness, and provide a relentless pursuit of justice and preservation of life.”
The Long Valley resident emphasized his trust in the department, and asked for the same from citizens.
“I understand your trust in us does not come easy, but will hopefully come with time, transparency, and through building and maintaining our relationship,” DiCarlo said.
He vowed to strive for a department that reflects the Township’s demographics.
“Our community is diverse and I will continue to improve the diversity in our police department,” DiCarlo said. “I truly believe that public trust is gained when the police force mirrors the diversity of the community which it serves.”
Video courtesy of the Friends of Televised Access in Morris Township.