Bayonne Police Chief Drew Sisk announced his retirement this month, effective August 1, a year after he was sworn in. Sisk worked for the Bayonne Police Department 30 years after graduating from the Jersey City Police Academy in 1988, the same graduating class as the preceding police chief, Drew Niekrasz. The next police chief, selected by Mayor James Davis, will likely be announced at the end of July.
Sisk, 52, told the Bayonne Community News that he leaves his position with “mixed emotions;” he’s excited about his next stage in life, which he hopes will include more time to spend with his nine-year-old daughter. “But there is a sense of melancholy as well, walking away from what I’ve done since I was 22 years old,” Sisk said. “My tenure was relatively brief, but it was eventful. I have no regrets, but I’m opening a new chapter, and I look forward to what’s ahead.”
Sisk attended William Paterson College, Jersey City State College, and earned a degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s executive leadership and management school. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and to lieutenant in 2003. He was promoted to captain in 2006 and served as a deputy chief for three years, beginning in 2014.
Sisk said he wanted to become a police officer because it was “exciting and unpredictable.” As he awarded new officers with graduation certificates from the academy earlier this month, Sisk said he felt envious of their embarking on a new police career while he was winding down his.
“In this profession, you change on a dime,” he said. “You go from doing nothing to running into a situation where people’s lives might be in peril. That’s part of the appeal of the profession. No day is the same. It wasn’t a 9-5 office job. Well, now it is.”
“The way I describe the profession is that there are very long days, but very short years,” he went on. “Now I’m thinking, ‘where did the years go?’ There is only one person in the department there longer than me. I don’t know when that happened. It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation.”
“I’m opening a new chapter, walking away from what I’ve done since I was 22 years old.” – Police Chief Drew Sisk
Protecting the community
In Sisk’s one-year tenure as chief, he saw growing fears of school shootings and multiple shooting threats to Bayonne schools, an opioid epidemic that is worsening by the year, and the implementation of a body camera program.
“It’s not like I leave, and everything starts anew,” he said. “Like anything else, there are still things that are being implemented.” He mentioned the police department’s recent re-accreditation that comes around every three years and requires a lot of administrative work and training. “It’s constant maintenance that the chief is going to be ultimately responsible for,” Sisk said. “It’s a paradigm change, but it’s a positive thing when it’s all said and done.”
When he retires, Sisk is sure that he will take family vacations and spend time with his daughter.
“I’ve been busy, certainly for her life, for 30 years as a police officer,” Sisk said. “Now I have the opportunity to spend time with her and watch her grow up.”
At age 52, Sisk doesn’t foresee an idle retirement. “I don’t see me as a guy who’s going to sit around and do nothing,” said. “There is no future in that. I don’t know what the next thing is, but there certainly will be a second act.”
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at email@example.com.