The Chief of Police is the Chief Executive Officer of the department and has authority over all police personnel, functions, and operations. The Chief exercises all lawful powers of his office and issues such orders, directives, policies and procedures that may be necessary to ensure the efficient and effective performance of the Department.
Chief Thomas Rinaldi began his career in law enforcement in 1995, after graduating from the Passaic County Police Academy, Class 95-11BTC. He began his career as a Patrol Officer until being detached to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office Narcotics Task Force in 2000. In 2002, he was then assigned to the Clifton Police Narcotics Division as a Detective. In 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, where he was assigned to and supervised Detectives within the Narcotics Division. In 2008, he was assigned to the Investigations Division, where he supervised a squad of Detectives tasked with investigating criminal incidents. In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, where he commanded various Patrol Platoon Divisions. In 2014, he was assigned to command the Juvenile Division, overseeing numerous Juvenile Detectives and School Resource Officers. In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and was assigned to the Administrative Services Division. In this capacity, he was tasked with managing the departmental budget, managing various grants and overseeing the Training Division as well as the Technical Services Division. In 2017, he was assigned to the Investigations Division, where he oversaw the Investigations Division, Juvenile Division and Narcotics Division.
He was then appointed as Interim Chief in March 2020 and eventually as fully sworn Chief in June 2020.
Being bestowed the honor of becoming the 12th Chief of the Clifton Police Department has been a wild ride to say the least. About a week after my appointment, Covid-19 entered our portion of the world, which shortly thereafter became a worldwide pandemic. Other tragic incidents which occurred around the country led to local civil unrest throughout major cities as well as small towns all over this great nation. Supply chain shortages which resulted in empty store shelves also led to the "fear of the unknown" that we were all about to experience. But day by day, week by week and month by month, we pushed through this. We eventually got through this with the dedication and hard work performed by every officer within every division of this exceptional police department. We could not have done this without the help and support of the City Manager and Governing Body. Also, the assistance and caring shown by our wonderful residents, business owners, and religious institutions of this great city helped make our mission successful. Lastly, I'd also like to recognize every Firefighter, Health Department worker and DPW worker within the City of Clifton. Your tireless efforts and unwavering show of support allowed us to do what we do best, and that is to protect and serve you.
I know that there is no greater job in the world than being a Police Officer. Twenty-Eight years into this profession, I still wake up with the enjoyment of coming to work each day as I did on day one of my career. I look forward to serving the City of Clifton for years to come and ensuring that the Clifton Police Department delivers the best possible services to everyone in this city.