ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – “My goals are to continue to provide the best possible service to this community and to be as transparent as possible with the public, and to involve young people in our community so that they can know our names and get comfortable with us.”
Those are just two of the high standards that are important, new borough police chief Scott Reinert said in his first interview after taking over the job on March 1 from outgoing chief David Rossbach.
He also doesn’t view any of his main goals as something difficult to achieve. “I believe that the former heads of this department laid a good foundation for this department,” he pointed out and added. “Chief Rossbach did a great job preparing me for this position. I rose through the ranks very quickly with the retirements of Captain Stone (Thomas) and Chief Rossbach, so I suddenly took on a lot of responsibilities. Taking advantage of all the experience and lessons he learned from his predecessors, the leader added, “I am currently working on passing on the responsibilities that I had while fulfilling the responsibilities that I have now.”
That he arrives at the position well qualified and enthusiastic cannot be denied. Originally from Manalapan, the chef graduated from St. John Vianney High School before earning a degree in business administration from Iona College in New York. More recently, he also completed in-house Certified Public Manager training at Rutgers University.
His first taste of working in law enforcement came at Sea Girt where he was hired as a Class II Special Officer. After attending the Cape May County Police Academy and spending two summers on the job at Sea Girt, it was enough to convince the enthusiastic and dedicated officer that he wanted to be in law enforcement all his life. .
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When Reinert heard there was an opening in the Atlantic Highlands Department for a dispatcher position, he wasted no time. He was on his second job in Manhattan, working as a labor stagehand for Good Morning America, when he received a phone call about the opening. So he immediately drove from that job to the borough to get the request. This led Chief Jerry Vasto to take him on as a dispatcher in 2008 and then less than a year later as a full-time police officer. Six years later, in 2015, he was promoted to Sergeant, four years after that transferred to the Detective Bureau and appointed Detective Sergeant.
Last year he was promoted to captain, accumulating experience and know-how at every stage.
Now at the helm of the department, Reinert wants to maintain the high standards that have been set by each previous chief and set new ones. “I want to involve young people in our community by establishing a detective exploration program so that teenagers can really get to know us. It can also serve as a great recruiting tool for future hiring processes and would be a great opportunity for young people to see if they want to pursue a career in law enforcement.
But he also set himself some pretty impressive goals. “I want to be able to take stock of my career and come out of it feeling like I’ve made a difference in people’s lives. »
Articulate, personable and eager to discuss the importance of also listening to people, the chef recalled a recent story that made him reflect on the importance of being a good listener and treating people with respect. “A woman stopped by police headquarters and asked to speak to me last week,” he said, continuing, “I spoke with her for several minutes in the lobby and she told me said I pulled her over for speeding seven years ago and she never forgot me She explained that she was going through the hardest time of her life at that time and how I treated her and talking to her made a difference in her life The chief does not remember the incident, did not recognize the woman but admitted “she made my day!” leads to his explanation of another goal he has set for himself “I also want to look back and see that I put my officers in the best position to succeed and treated them with the utmost respect while holding them to the highest standards.”
Family is of the utmost importance in learning high standards, setting goals, carrying through and working with a strong work ethic, Reinert continued. He is full of praise for both his parents for the support they always have, and continue to give him, and for giving him the opportunity to be educated and supported in achieving these high standards. The youngest of three sons, the chef said not only were his older brothers great role models for him, but the support and guidance of their parents led all three of them to succeed in their chosen fields of endeavor and varied.
Now a resident of Oceanport, where he lives with his wife, Tami, whom he met when they were both students at St. John Vianney, the couple have four children, ages two to eleven, Mason, Miles, Lynden and Lilly. The chief said his family instilled in him even more aspiration to set and maintain high standards and carry on the ethical traditions his parents gave him and his brothers.
After less than two months on the job as a top law enforcement official, Chief Reinert said there was nothing easier or harder. “Policing is constantly changing and evolving and if you’re not able to adapt, you won’t be successful. We are held to such a high standard and a select few can ruin it for all of us. It can get frustrating for everyone in law enforcement, but we need to prove to our community that we hold our officers to the highest standards.
There is also nothing that can be described as a typical day. “One of the many reasons I became a police officer is that there are no typical days and the days are unpredictable. I liked the idea of always different and always changing work. You have to be on tiptoe at all times and that’s what makes it interesting.
There is a better part of the job, however, he enthused: “Having the ability to turn young officers into great professionals. I am excited to continue to provide them with the best training and the best tools to succeed. My position is not about me, but about making those under me excel. We have a very young department and I have a great opportunity to have a significant influence on their success. »
His own experience in this department impressed him with the excellence already established. “I’ve seen this department stay ahead of a lot of different issues. I look forward to staying ahead of this curve. As an example, he cited the department’s investment in the use of body cameras seven years before it became mandatory statewide. He pointed out that the department became an accredited agency in 2018 auditing “we follow ‘best practice’ standards in policing.”
Since accreditation leads to greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and exposure to liability, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy, and greater confidence in the agency’s ability to operate effectively and meet the needs of the community, the chief explained that the process is not mandatory. “but my predecessors wanted this department to be held at a higher level. For the past three years I have worked to get the department reaccredited and that reaccreditation process is happening this month. A goal achieved just a few months after his promotion.
In addition to his work as a chef, Reinert said he would continue to be a uniformed officer at work, but would wear business attire for business meetings and where more appropriate or appropriate. He is already a member of the Monmouth County and State Chiefs Associations because he wants to take advantage of the “wealth of knowledge in the room every time there is a meeting”. This is a great opportunity to brainstorm ideas or issues with other established chefs.
Looking back on his first few weeks on the job, Chef Reinert said he not only appreciates the support he receives from the men and women he has rubbed shoulders with and is now their leader, but there is even more. “What surprised me the most was how much the community has already adopted me into this new position. It’s a tight-knit community and you don’t always know how the promotion will be received. Everyone has been great and excited for me. I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career and during my first few weeks as Chief of Police.
Atlantic Highlands Police Chief Scott Reinert appears not only ready for the job, but determined to make it the best experience for himself, his department and, most importantly, the people of Atlantic Highlands.