July 19, 2024
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Former Englewood Detective Bureau Commander Appointed Security Director at Federation

It felt like a natural fit for Timothy Torell after retiring from a more than 41-year career with the Englewood Police Department.

Torell, who became director of community security December 1 at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, served as commander of the city’s detective bureau, where his duties included being liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. He was also municipal counterterrorism coordinator and oversaw bias incident investigations. He replaces Jerry Dargan in the position.

“I’ve been head of the detective bureau since for over a decade; as counterterrorism coordinator and as officer in charge of bias incidents I have developed a strong bond with the Jewish community,” Torell told The Jewish Link during a phone interview on Nov. 23, his last day on the force.

“As counterterrorism coordinator I’ve visited many of the facilities in the city, especially in the Jewish community because antisemitism has always been there,” he said. “It ebbs and flows, but there was always something going on. I’ve been going into the synagogues, the shuls. One of my jobs was to do site inspections.”

Torell said an additional bond was forged as a participant on a Federation-sponsored trip for law enforcement six or seven years ago to meet with Israeli counterparts.

“I loved it so much that a couple of the other guys and I hired our own guide and stayed an extra four days,” he recalled.

As part of his job as municipal counterterrorism coordinator was keeping synagogues, day schools and Jewish community leaders informed of the best practices for keeping institutions safe and assisting with securing grants to upgrade security.

Federation CEO and Executive Vice President Jason Shames described Torell’s appointment as “an incredible match for us. This is someone who not only understands the law enforcement community, but also the Jewish community.”

The position was created following the 2018 antisemitic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead and six injured, said Shames, adding, “We realized it just wasn’t enough to have a great relationship with law enforcement.”

Shames said Torell’s expertise would improve the Federation’s communication with authorities and Jewish organizations, provide know-how in navigating the system from investigation to legalities to law enforcement and help the organization initiate a response in an emergency situation.

Torell is looking forward to his new position, noting, “I wanted to do something meaningful. This felt like a natural fit.”

By Debra Rubin

 

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