John M. Ward

Chief John M. Ward is a 35 year veteran of Law Enforcement and the Ridgewood Police Department. Additionally he has over 30 years of Emergency Management experience including supervisory and leadership roles. He has over 38 years of experience in Emergency Medical Services  including supervisory and leadership roles He started with the Ridgewood Police on February 22, 1981 as an EMT/ Police Dispatcher and assumed command of the police department on July 16, 2010. The Chief rose through the ranks of the department and has worked in and/or commanded every function/specialization within the agency and beyond.

The Chief is a results oriented Public Safety leader with extensive experience in Public Administration, Law Enforcement Operations, Criminal Investigations, Crime Prevention, Community Policing and Outreach, Tactical and Strategic Planning, Personnel Development and Training, Organizational Development and Cultural Change, Emergency Management and Incident Command, Labor Relations and Professional Standards, Policy Development and Accreditation, Project Management, Budget preparation and management, as well as all other public safety functions. His  Core qualifications:

  • Strategic/Tactical Planning & Implementation
  • Risk Management
  • Audit/Compliance Reporting & Controls
  • Change Management
  • Performance Management & Assessment
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making 
  • Crisis & Strategic Communications
  • Mentoring & Motivation 
  • Crisis Management/Emergency Preparedness 
  • Threat/Vulnerability Assessment as well as Security & Related Countermeasure & Close Protection Operations

Chief Ward’s commitment to professionalism and best practices can be traced back to his time as a patrol officer, through his role as an instructor for his department, various police academies and through his involvement in CALEA Accreditation, since 1996. Throughout his career he has built strong ties with all segments of the community through his commitment to community policing, crime prevention, youth outreach and as a founding member of the Ridgewood Police Volunteer Ambulance, Clinical Coordination of Ridgewood Emergency Services, Emergency Management and as a Lead Advisor for Law Enforcement Explorers. Additionally, he
successfully launched and supervised numerous community policing/crime prevention programs including Bike Patrol, Bank & Retail
Crime Watch, DARE, and most recently a regional crime/data analysis partnership, Community Policing Youth Ambassador
leadership program and Police Chaplin program.

Furthermore, the Chief has been recognized for his leadership, innovation and management to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency of available resources during normal and emergent operations. He received repeated public recognition for his accomplishments at forging and enhancing synergistic partnerships, shared services and collaborative problem solving to address
current and future community needs and concerns. He has supervised and/or commanded his department in coordination with various agencies in the region through every major emergent event to impact the region for the past 17 years, including Hurricanes Floyd, Irene, Sandy and most recently our mutual aid response to the Garden State Mall Shooting.

Chief Ward serves on numerous state, county and local committees and organizations including  NJ Chiefs Command & Leadership advisory board, and  State Shared services and consolidation review board, State Chief's representative to NJ Public Safety
Accreditation Coalition, Bergen County Chiefs Training Committee and Academic Advisory Board member for Law Enforcement
Against Drugs (LEAD).

Chief Ward has received numerous valor awards throughout his career and was inducted into the NJ Honor Legion in 1989. In addition he has received numerous awards from various local and state organizations for his work in law enforcement and community service. Most recently having been honored on 1/20/2015 by the Ridgewood/Glen Rock Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee for his dedication to community policing, service, tolerance and justice.

Beyond his law enforcement career he has obtained extensive experience as an EMT since 1978 and a Paramedic from 1982 - 1995. Chief Ward has also been involved in defensive tactics and martial arts throughout his life, having attained 5th Dan (Masters) certification in Tae Kwon Do, 1st Dan in Hap Ki Do along with various rankings in other systems and instructor status as well. He
continues to share his knowledge with public safety personnel as well as community members.

The Chief has also expanded the scope of instructional experience to the college setting since 2009. He is an adjunct instructor for Fairleigh Dickinson University, Ramapo College, Centenary College and Bergen Community College. He teaches a wide variety of Criminal Justice, Leadership and Management courses.

In conclusion, Chief Ward’s Educational history includes a Bachelor (major Administration of Law & Public Safety), Masters of Administrative Science (Concentration in Public Administration & Leadership), Certified Public Manager and is currently pursuing a second Masters of Institutional/Organizational Psychology – Organization Behavior & Leadership. Most recently he began his pursuit of a Doctor of Science in Civil Security Leadership Management and Policy. In addition he has earned well in excess of 60 certificates from various professional and educational organizations including:

                                 Additional Trainings (Partial List)

  • FBI Command Institute (LEEDA) (2011)
  •  FBI Mid-Atlantic Law Executive Development (LEEDS) (5/2014)
  • Leading Through Legacy - IACP (2014)
  • IACP - Leadership Institute on Juvenile Justice (2015)
  • Franklin Covey 7 Habits for Law Enforcement (Facilitator Certification 2014)
  •  Franklin Covey 7 Habits for Highly Effective People 4.0 (Facilitator 2014)
  • New Jersey Police Executive Institute (2009)
  • Public Information Officer (2010)
  • NJ Chiefs of Police Assoc. West Point Command & Leadership Course (2005) (Instructor 2005-2010)
  • FBI - Advanced Criminal Investigation
  • FBI- Police Supervision & Management
  • FBI - Ethics for Law Enforcement Executives
  • Proactive Police Supervision
  • University of Delaware Criminal Justice Leadership Institute (1998)
  • NJ Division of Criminal Justice Arson Investigator  (1986)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)- Graduate Cert. Law & Public Safety Administration (2008)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University - (FDU) Graduate Cert. Global Leadership Administration (2008)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University - (FDU)/NJ DOP - Certified Public Manager (2003)
  • US DOD Tactical Teams Training (1987)
  • NTOA Tactical Officer Training (2015)
  • NTOA Team Leader Training (2/2015)
  • North Jersey Regional Community Policing Institute Crime Prevention & Community Policing  (Instructor)
  • Internal Affairs Investigations & Management
  • Interview & Interrogation
  • Background Investigation Employment Interviews
  • Field Training Management
  • NJ Office of Counter Terrorism - LE Counter Terrorism Instructor
  • Accreditation Manager Training (2004)
  • Field Training Officer  (NJ DCJ) (2003) (Instructor)
  • NJ Depart. of Personnel - Supervisory Management (1998-1999)
  • Monadnock /Safari land - Instructor -trainer in PR-24, Expandable/ straight baton, and Defensive Tactics (recertified 2015)
  • Martial Arts Instructor Since 1992 Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki DO
  • Crime Prevention Officer (1988) (Instructor since 1992)
  • NY/NJ HIDTA - Communications Analysis
  • Emergency Management
  • ICS 100-400 & NIMS
  • Active Shooter Response
  • ALICE - Active Shooter Response -Instructor
  • NJ Regional Intelligence Academy - Analysis Training
  • Franklin Covey 7 Habits Facilitator/Instructor Certification
  • NJDHS -TEEX Advanced Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • NJ Police Training Commission certified instructor for recruit and in service (since 1985)
  • NEMTP- Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic (1982-1984)
  • Additional training certificates available upon request.


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