The Chief of Police is the head of the Hazlet Township Police Department appointed by the Mayor and Committee and responsible for the day-to-day operation of the police department. Acting to preserve public trust and peace, the Chief oversees 41 Full Time Officers, 3 Special Officers and Civilian Staff.
In addition to the everyday duties of the Chief of Police, he is responsible for the following duties:
(A) Administer and enforce rules, regulations, and special emergency directives for the disposition and discipline of the Department and its officers and personnel;
(B) Have, exercise and discharge the functions, powers and duties of the Police Department;
(C) Prescribe the duties and assignments of all subordinates and all personnel;
(D) Delegate such of his authority as he may deem necessary for the efficient operation of the Police Department to be exercised under his direction and supervision; and
(E) Report at least monthly to the appropriate authority in such form as shall be prescribed by such authority on the operation of the Police Department during the preceding month and make such other reports as may be requested by such authority.
Chief Ted A. Wittke is a graduate of Raritan High School, a Marine Corps veteran and accomplished leader who began his law enforcement career in February 1999 with the Hazlet Township Police Department. Chief Wittke took the Oath of Office for the position of Chief of Police on September 8, 2020.
From February 1999 until July 2012, Chief Wittke served as a Patrol Officer assigned to the Uniformed Patrol Division. In July of 2012, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and placed in charge of a squad of patrol officers. In February 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and took over as the Detective Bureau Commander. During his time there, he directly oversaw investigations and the internal affairs function. In December 2016, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief and in July 2018 he attended the FBI National Academy, Session 273, in Quantico, Virginia. The FBI National Academy is a 10 week professional course of study for law enforcement executives from all over the world. Attendees must be nominated and the selection process is very stringent. Subsequently, in 2019 Chief Wittke was elected to the Sergeant-At- Arms position on the Executive Board of the FBI National Academy Associates, New Jersey Chapter and is still serving on the board today.
Chief Wittke is also a graduate of Fairleigh Dickenson University where he earned a Bachelor and Master of Administrative Science degrees. He is an Accredited Chief/ Command Executive through the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police and also a Certified Public Manager through Rutgers.
Among his many accomplishments, in 2001 Chief Wittke was assigned as an undercover officer to the Bayshore Narcotics Task Force where he worked on cases involving the sale and distribution of illegal drugs in the Bayshore area. He also implemented the departments first Field Training Program for new officers in 2012. This program has been used to effectively train over 25 officers and it is still in use today. He later developed and implemented the departments first training program for new supervisors in 2020. Chief Wittke prides himself on increasing and improving service to the public. As such, he was responsible for the department’s participation in Project Medicine Drop where residents could safely dispose of unwanted medicines. He further implemented the Carfax program which made Hazlet accident reports available online to the public. While assigned to investigations he implemented the RAPID metals database to deter the fencing of stolen goods, which made Hazlet Police the first Monmouth County Department to utilize this helpful tool. He also served as the coordinator for the LESO 1033 Program and through this program he acquired over 3 Million Dollars in military surplus equipment for the Township free of charge.
Chief Wittke has effectuated numerous arrests throughout his career but he is most proud of an arrest he had in 2004 in which he charged a subject for a drug and weapons offense that stemmed from a motor vehicle stop. While being processed the subject had given Chief Wittke a false name and social security number. Chief Wittke doubted the name was correct and moments before he was released, through further investigative steps, it was discovered that the subject was wanted out of North Carolina for shooting a police officer. The subject was later extradited to NC to face his charges.
In 2005 Chief Wittke arrested another subject for possession of drugs. In court, the defendant made a motion to suppress the evidence based on an improper motor vehicle stop for “obstructed view”. The court found Chief Wittke’s testimony to be credible and denied the motion. The subject subsequently appealed the ruling and the NJ State Appeals Court later upheld the ruling. This ruling established case law for all New Jersey law enforcement officers to follow and is still in effect today.
Chief Wittke is a two time recipient of the Monmouth County 200 Club Award, and the Narcotics Officers Association Commendation Award, as well as receiving numerous Department Commendations throughout his career. He is a member of the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association, New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, and The International Association of Chiefs of Police.