Cranford Police Chief Eric Mason is the type of person who believes that one should practice what he preaches.
Mason says he's always preached about the importance of professional policing. He's done it at the local level as a leader in the Cranford Police Department. Now he will do it across the state as the next President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
"I'm committed to the organization and believe in what it stands for," Mason said.
The mission of the association, which was founded in 1912, is to promote the highest ethical and professional standards in law enforcement. The association sponsors a number of professional training and educational programs for police and law enforcement personnel.
He was first elected to a leadership position in the association in 2004 – shortly after becoming chief of the Cranford Police Department in July 2003 – and gradually worked through the association's ranks and to first vice-president. The current president is retiring, so Mason will assume the position as the next in line.
The appointment is sure to bring attention to the Cranford Police Department, which makes Mason proud.
"I've always advocated that professionalism is kind of a hallmark of the Cranford Police Department," he said. Mason joined the Cranford police force in 1977.
Mason acknowledges the position as president of a statewide police organization brings with it a host of challenges. Police departments across the state are facing major budget cuts, which put staffing, training and ultimately public safety in jeopardy. But Mason said he's ready for the challenge.
"I'm looking forward to meeting those challenges and continuing not only as a strong organization but as an organization committed to law enforcement," he said.
Mason will formally be sworn in as President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police during the association's annual conference in Atlantic City in June.