Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 49
 
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
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Dudeck Named New Borough Police Chief

Dilshanie Perera

David Dudeck has been appointed the new Chief of Police for Princeton Borough. He was scheduled to be sworn in yesterday after Town Topics press time.

“I think the process probably started 27 years ago when I first became an officer here,” Mr. Dudeck said in an interview. He had served in the capacity of patrolman, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, operations lieutenant, and administrative lieutenant prior to his appointment as chief.

“One of the things I hope to bring to the table is my maturity and my experience,” Mr. Dudeck noted, characterizing himself as a “people person” who has “always enjoyed everyday interactions, the men and women of this department, and the citizens of this town.”

After growing up in Ewing, Mr. Dudeck attended Notre Dame High School and completed a postgraduate year at the Hun School before majoring in Criminal Justice at Trenton State College, where his interest in police work was sparked.

“I didn’t get hired until the third time I took Princeton’s test,” Mr. Dudeck recalled. The first time, he passed the exam but didn’t get an interview, and the second time he was called back for the interview but didn’t get the job. “By then, I really liked Princeton and really liked the town,” he laughed, saying that his persistence landed him a position on the squad on his third try.

In addition to being a longtime member of the department, Mr. Dudeck has coached high school football in the area for over 20 years, working with the Princeton High School team before becoming the Head Coach at the Hun School in 1999. He lives in Hamilton with his wife Amy and four children, Brendan, David, Cameron, and Shannon.

The selection brings to a close the months-long process that followed former Police Chief Anthony Federico’s sudden death in June. In the interim, Mr. Dudeck has served as the acting head of the department.

“We’re all very excited for David, and for the police officers,” Borough Administrator Robert Bruschi noted. “They have been very patient and have worked well over the past few months.”

The highlights of the selection process, according to Mr. Bruschi, were the individual meetings by members of Borough Council and each of the three police lieutenants up for consideration for the position. “It gave them a chance to sit down one-on-one and talk about specific issues. No topic was barred from discussion,” he said, adding that “philosophy, policing, goals, and directions that the department should head” were all key subjects.

Following two closed-session Council meetings last week during which the candidates spoke about their ideas for the department, Mr. Dudeck was named the new chief.

Underscoring the “tremendous amount of respect” he has for Lieutenants Nick Sutter and Sharon Papp, Mr. Dudeck expressed his gratitude for their support.

As the head of the department, “the most important thing is to continue to reinforce the positive energy and positive working environment,” Mr. Dudeck said, adding, “I do want to have a healthy communication with Mayor and Council, as well as our citizens.”

He would also like to take time to thoroughly train young officers, and get back into the accreditation program, which “keeps the department on top of all of their policies and procedures.”

Over the past weeks Borough Council has considered how best to manage oversight of the police department, debating to whom the police chief should ultimately report, and what role the Borough Administrator and Public Safety Committee should have.

“I would be supportive of working with them whichever way they decide, and whichever way they see fit that would be best for the future of the Borough,” Mr. Dudeck said.

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