The Human Needs Food Pantry is getting a new executive director. The retiring Chief of Police of Tenafly, Michael Bruno, will soon be taking over the position being vacated by Deanna London, who announced in October that she would be stepping down after 25 years at the helm.
Bruno will officially take over in March, but will spend February training with London. He will retire as head of the Tenafly Police Dept. on Feb. 1, where he worked as chief for ten years.
He tells Baristanet that when he saw the executive director position advertised, he applied immediately.
“I have done volunteer work in the past doing walk-in dinners and similar initiatives in our area as my time allows,” he said. “I saw this as a chance to devote all of my energy to helping good people who happen to find themselves struggling and in need of assistance, which is a situation any one of us could be in. It may sound cliché, but that’s what got me into public service in the first place 28 years ago–simply helping others.”
Bruno says he hopes to build upon the tremendous foundation that London is leaving behind “by doing whatever I can to improve efficiency, modernize the recordkeeping and reporting processes and hopefully enhance the services provided in any way I can.”
“It is readily apparent that Deanna is a beloved figure in the community and to the pantry’s clients and her reputation was earned and is well deserved,” he added. “I hope to prove that my devotion to the needs of our clients runs just as deeply and that I will do everything I can to live up to the standards she has set by ensuring that those needs are met. I recognize the importance of this work and I am honored that the Board has placed their faith in me to continue the wonderful things that Deanna and her staff have done all these years.”
Bruno, who lives in Tenafly, comes with a long list of accomplishments. According to the Cliffview Pilot, which first reported the news about the police chief’s new position, Bruno founded New Jersey’s first crime scene cleanup company, Scene-Clean, in 1990, and has lectured and taught at law enforcement and security conferences, specializing in tactical responses to active shooter situations. He is also a former SWAT team commander who authored the current standards being used by all tactical teams in Bergen County.
Running the Human Needs Food Pantry will likely be a much slower pace for Bruno, but he seems excited by the new challenge. And he is not the only one. “My wife and children are thrilled because they know how important this is to me,” he says.
Congratulations and welcome, Chief Bruno, from all of us here at Baristanet!