Jonathan Parham’s twenty-seven year career in public service has improved the integrity and efficiency of police departments across Union County, New Jersey and beyond. By auditing departments to identify weak points in agency function, and establishing critical safety protocols for officers, Parham’s work has earned him the respect of law enforcement, community members, and government officials across the state.
Parham’s career began as a Police Officer at the Linden Police Department (LPD) in 1992, working his way through the ranks over twenty-five years, and culminating his tenure with the department as Police Chief in 2016. In his time at LPD, Parham emphasized the importance of professional excellence within the agency, serving as the Training Coordinator within the Professional Standards Division. Parham also served as the law enforcement liaison for the Crisis Intervention Team initiative.
As Chief, Parham focused his energy on internal operational improvements, believing that well trained officers provide better service and forge stronger relationships with community members. At LPD, Parham established an Advanced Law Enforcement Agency Risk Management (ALARM) system and a Real Time Crime Center, both improving oversight and critical incident response capabilities for the department.
Parham strengthened community relations by surveying Linden residents on their perception of local crime, then identifying ways to expand the department’s visibility and transparency for the public. Standardizing agency training and installing body worn cameras on officers allowed LPD to address performance related issues surfacing during law enforcement’s interactions with the public. Parham also made the agency’s Employee Assistance Program available for first responders following critical incidents, helping to alleviate the impact long-term exposure to trauma has on the mental health of dispatchers and first responders.
Parham’s success at LPD brought him to the Union County Sheriff’s Office in 2018, working as an Undersheriff. There, Parham oversaw the internal affairs, policy management, performance management, and legal process units, bringing efficiency to each unit’s daily function. While at the Sheriff’s Office, Parham also standardized operation manuals for all divisions, created protocol for body worn camera oversight/management, and mandated inclusion training for sworn officers.
In Parham’s new role as the Director of County-Wide Police, Policy, Planning, & Training at the Union County Prosecutor’s Office (UCPO), Parham plans to use his experience in performance management as a resource to support UCPO’s assistant prosecutors and investigative units as they work with law enforcement officers throughout the county to bring successful prosecutions.
Parham’s decades of service to the people of New Jersey have brought legitimacy and transparency to policing. Through conferences and seminars, Parham has helped educate law enforcement officers and the public law enforcement standards and best practices. With countless certifications, honors, and awards, Jonathan Parham’s goal is to continue equipping law enforcement officers with the resources needed to perform their jobs safely, while providing excellent service to the public.