Bayside police chief retiring after lengthy career
Consolidated dispatch center, new public safety building among accomplishments
Bayside — Bayside Police Chief Bruce Resnick may be departing the police department when he retires at the end of the year, but he is leaving a lot in his stead.
Since Resnick became police chief in 1994, he oversaw the construction of a new Village Hall and Public Safety building and played an integral role in the consolidated dispatch center that is run out of Bayside and serves the entire North Shore. Though he has left tangible marks on the village of Bayside, that is not what he is most proud of when he reflects on his time as police chief. Rather, he says, it is the people he and village staff have hired over the years.
"We are our employees," he said.
Resnick was born and raised in Bayside. When he turned 18, he became a volunteer firefighter.
"I really liked every aspect of firefighting and that's kind of what got me on the track to do this," he said.
In the mid-1970s, Resnick started working as a dispatcher in Glendale. They hired him full-time in 1979. Two years later, Resnick was hired as a public safety officer for Bayside, a position he never left.
In the 33 years he has worked for Bayside, Resnick has acted as a police officer, EMT, firefighter, and surprisingly, as a plumber and custodian. That's what he says sets Bayside apart from other communities. No matter what call comes through the dispatch center, the Bayside Police Department responds and tries to help.
"I've turned off overflowing toilets, I've mopped water up, I've fixed sumppumps, it doesn't matter what the call is," he said. "We can figure out how to make someone's life easier."
In one of the most memorable moments of Resnick's career, he was dispatched to a woman's house where a toilet was overflowing.
"It seems like such an innocuous thing. You know, an overflowing toilet is not a big deal. For her, at that point in her life this was a big, big deal to her," he said.
The woman answered the door crying. A few weeks earlier, her husband passed away. It was her husband who would have handled the plumbing issues. Resnick quickly turned the water off and mopped up the water that overflowed into her basement.
"She was so thankful that someone took the time and cared enough to help her and she told me that 'these are all things my husband would have done and I don't know how I'll carry on,'" Resnick said. "I said, 'We have people here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all you have to do is call.'"
Helping the residents, no matter how small the issue, is a message Resnick has shared with his fellow officers at the police department over the years.
"That's different than a larger city that doesn't have that kind of connection with the residents so from that perspective, that's what I enjoy about Bayside and to me that's what makes a nice place to work," he said. "It doesn't matter what the call is, we try to figure out what the solution is and try to fix whatever it is and we've been pretty successful in doing that."
Building a new home
When Resnick started with the Bayside Police Department, it was literally a different place.
The village incorporated in 1953. The first Village Hall was built in 1955. The police department was stationed in one room of that building and the police chief lived at a residence on site. As the village grew, Village Hall offices moved into the chief's home and the police department took over Village Hall. Still, the space was small.
"It wasn't designed to be a police department," Resnick said.
The building didn't have jail cells.
That all changed in 1999, when the new Village Hall and Public Safety Department was built, a project Resnick saw through from start to finish.
In 2012, the building was expanded to make room for consolidated dispatching services for all seven North Shore communities. Resnick played an essential role in the consolidation and implementation of the dispatch center that took about two years to complete.
Resnick's last official day as police chief is Dec. 31. As the village works to find a replacement, Capt. Scott McConnell will be appointed as acting chief, Village Manager Andy Pederson said.
"Scott will help provide a seamless transition with his years of service in Bayside, as well as knowledge of the community and staff," Pederson said.
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