SUMMIT, NJ — After 25 years in law enforcement, Summit Police Chief Andrew Bartolotti on Tuesday, Sept. 7, notified Mayor Nora Radest and members of the Common Council of his intention to retire on Friday, Dec. 31.
“While I am happy for Chief Bartolotti and extremely thankful for his service to our community, I will miss his wise and steady counsel,” Radest said on Friday, Sept. 10. The mayor has known the chief for the past six years. “I would like him to know that the Summit Police Department, especially over the past 18 months while he was chief, is better because of his leadership. He safely guided his officers and all of us through the challenges of a global pandemic and periods of social unrest. I have every confidence that the department is now set for future success.”
Hailing from Monmouth County, where he served on the Manasquan Police Department, Bartolotti said he has always had a passion for helping others.
“I am married with two sons and come from a family of police officers,” Bartolotti said on Friday, Sep. 10. “I began my public service career almost 29 years ago, at the age of 17, as a volunteer firefighter in my hometown. With a passion for helping others and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others, I entered the police academy at the age of 21.”
According to an official release announcing his retirement, Bartolotti joined the Summit Police Department in April 2000. In 2004, he was assigned to the detective bureau and served on a number of Union County task forces. In 2007, he was promoted to sergeant and, in 2011, to lieutenant. As a lieutenant, Bartolotti graduated from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Command & Leadership Academy.
Bartolotti earned the rank of captain in 2012 and was assigned as the divisional commander of the support services division, overseeing the department’s juvenile, community policing, traffic and field-training units, according to the release. In 2016, he was one of 15 New Jersey law enforcement executives to train at the international College of Policing in Great Britain. Bartolotti also represented Summit with distinction when he was selected as one of six law enforcement executives from the Garden State to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Bartolotti was appointed chief of police by Radest in June 2020.
As his career in law enforcement comes to a close, Bartolotti said his favorite memories of serving are the positive impact he has had on people’s lives. But, he admits, the time to move on has arrived.
“After almost 29 years in public service, consisting of 18 years in the fire service and the overlapping 25 years in law enforcement, I am excited for the opportunity to spend more time with my family and the new opportunities that await us,” Bartolotti said. “A career in law enforcement is one that is incredibly rewarding, as you have a lifetime of opportunities to bring about a positive impact to others. With the last 22 years serving the Summit community, I have had the privilege of meeting so many people, many of whom have also impacted my life in a positive way.”
The police chief said he has worked alongside so many incredible people, who have devoted their lives in service to others. He said he has worked to build a better agency, make important community connections and promote a safe community.
“I am fully confident that the Summit Police Department will continue to thrive in 2022,” said Bartolotti. “We have an exceptional team of men and women in uniform who serve and protect the community, and I am thrilled to celebrate their successes.
“If there is one thing that I could leave behind for the men and women of the department, it is for them to serve each day knowing that, if they do this job properly, there is nothing more noble they will do with their lives,” he continued. “Before embarking on the next chapter in my professional life, I am excited to take some time off with my family and enjoy the winter months snowmobiling in upstate New York.”
As for a successor, Bartolotti said he has complete faith in Radest choosing the next Summit chief of police.
“Our command staff is composed of outstanding officers. Mayor Radest will undoubtedly select the best person for the position of chief of police,” he said.
According to the release, a formal statement by Bartolotti in the form of a letter to the community will be sent closer to the planned retirement date in December.
Radest is expected to announce Bartolotti’s successor by the end of October.
City administrator Michael Rogers first met Bartolotti in September 2015, when he became Summit’s administrator, and said he believes Bartolotti has earned his retirement.
“I have always admired his strength of character and attention to process and detail,” said Rogers on Friday, Sept. 10. “The police department has benefited from his leadership, and it has been a privilege to work with him.”