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Law Enforcement veteran Richard Childs named as Chief
of the Economic Crime/Inspection Bureau in Sheriff’s Department


ELIZABETH---Richard Childs, the County’s acting Public Safety Director, has been appointed as the Chief of the newly-created Economic Crime/Inspection Bureau in the Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Ralph Froehlich announced.

Childs, who had been serving as Acting Director of the Public Safety Department since
January 1st last year, will move into his new position on Monday, Sheriff Froehlich said.
Police Chief Daniel Vaniska will assume the title of Acting Public Safety Director.

Given the current economic crisis, the bureau was created by the Sheriff’s Office to investigate and refer economic matters such as credit card fraud, ponzi schemes, and identity theft to the Prosecutor’s Office, and provide expert witness testimony for grand jury and superior court. The office will also conduct public awareness programs on such matters to the public.

The office will also conduct internal investigation, develop and monitor internal audit programs, train appropriate personnel in the discipline of internal auditing, monitor internal controls, conduct the performance of fiscal analysis and diligence on prospective vendors and the periodic review of the financial profile of existing vendors, assist County counsel in calculating economic damages in civil matters, and assist the County police internal affairs investigations as needed.

There will be no additional cost to the creation of the office, as Childs will use existing resources and manpower.

“Rich Childs has expertise in forensic accounting and fiscal investigations and is a natural in leading this division,” Sheriff Ralph Froehlich said. “As we have seen, the tough economic climate continues to breed complex fiscal criminality that requires a deeper level of investigation. I have strong confidence in Childs who will lead the way in investigating these matters, and raise awareness.”

Childs said he looked forward to his new position.

“This is my area of specialization, and it is becoming increasingly important to be attentive to the protection and safeguarding of our assets,” Childs said. “This bureau will also provide the County with the added benefit of investigating internal matters as well.”

County Manager George W. Devanney thanked Childs for his service as Acting Public Safety Director.

“Rich helped lead the department through a solid year, and will continue to serve the public well in his new role, which he has unique qualifications for,” Devanney said.

Childs is a former State Division of Criminal Justice detective and Newark police officer.
Before serving the County as Acting Public Safety Director, Childs, 62, a Westfield resident, had served several years as a part-time Civil Litigation Investigator in the County Counsel’s Office, and has also assisted on accounting matters. Childs has served as a self-employed Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and State Licensed Private Detective for the past
23 years.

Childs, a Newark native, began his career by serving in the Newark Police Department in 1968.  He served as a patrol cop, on the Bandit Squad, and as a Homicide investigator.  Following a ten-year career in Newark, he served as an investigator in the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s White Collar Crimes unit. He investigated all fraud-related crimes.

Childs also worked in the private sector for Deak-Perera, an international foreign exchange, Swiss Bank and Precious Metals company, where he conducted ongoing theft investigations, set up internal controls, produced procedural manuals and monthly and financial statements.

During the past three decades, Childs has served as a self-employed accountant, fraud examiner and private detective who, among his wide-range of duties, handles civil, criminal and trial preparation and coordination. He conducts hidden asset investigations, and has served as an expert witness in accounting, police procedures, and security in Superior Court and before State and Federal Courts. His wide ranging experiences have also included due diligence and background investigations, corporate security and crime prevention.