Arnold Running for Essex County Sheriff


Former Newark Deputy Police Director John C. Arnold, Jr. announced today that he is running for Essex


County Sheriff in this year’s Democratic Primary, challenging incumbent Armando Fontoura.

Deputy Director Arnold has submitted the required nominating petitions of Essex County voters to put him on the ballot in the upcoming June 8th, 2021 Primary Election.

If successful, Deputy Director Arnold will become the first African American Sheriff ever in Essex County’s 339 year history.

In explaining why he is running for Sheriff, Mr. Arnold said, “Communities across the nation are demanding reform and transparency in law Enforcement. As the chief law enforcement officer in the county, Sheriff Fontoura has for 30 years been unwilling or incapable of bringing that change. I have the physical and mental capacity, experience, and skill sets to move the Essex County Sheriff’s Office forward to meet the demands and challenges facing law enforcement in this present day, by transforming the office into a proactive and progressive community-centric law enforcement organization. I will bring true reform and change to policing.

“My goal is to make Essex County neighborhoods safer, restore the public’s trust in law enforcement, and to partner with private, public, social, and community entities to foster and maintain strong relationships in an effort to make the Essex County Sheriff’s Office more effective in serving the citizens of Essex County and a model law enforcement agency nationwide,” Mr. Arnold added. “Essex County deserves a progressive, trendsetting, Sheriff with radical ideas in fighting crime and bringing progressive policing strategies that ensure the safety of all its residents. Real, positive and transformational change is needed in the Essex County Sheriff’s Office right now and I bring that change to the table.”

Arnold has served as Newark’s Deputy Police Director from 2014 to 2016. In that role, he initiated a Special Enforcement / Intelligence Unit which investigated major crimes within Newark, spearheaded the Police Department’s Office of Clergy and Community Affairs which was responsible for building “foundational” relationships between the community and the department; and headed the Legal Affairs/Advocate Unit and the Situational Awareness and Special Activities Unit. He was also a member of the Selection and Advisory Committee for the court-ordered Federal Police Monitor. There, he contributed to the planning and restructuring of the department with the US Department of Justice for compliance with the court order.

Prior to that, Arnold served in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office from 1987 to 2010, rising through the ranks from County Detective to Captain of Detectives, commanding a number of high profile divisions including Homicide, Gang and Narcotics (VIPER) Unit, Child Abuse Unit and the Adult Trials Unit respectively. While Commander of the Homicide Division, they achieved an 85 percent arrest rate and a 65 percent conviction rate under his leadership.

He began his career in law enforcement in 1985 as a police officer for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

After graduating from Newark magnet school Science High, Arnold joined and served his country proudly and honorably in the United States Marine Corps and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Theology from the JD Price Theological Bible College, in Orlando, Florida.

Arnold is also an ordained Pastor who in 2010 founded The Temple of Refuge Church, in Newark. In 2016 he was installed as the Pastor of WhoSoEver Will Church in Plainfield, NJ and is currently on the Executive Board and also serves as Superintendent of the Northern District for the Covenant Kingdom Ministries International headquartered in Bloomfield. He was awarded the Glenn Cunningham Award by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) for his work with youth, and gang prevention. He is the Founder of the Enshin Foundation, which is an organization that uses the art and discipline of karate to help youth deal with the problems and issues facing them today. He also holds numerous international martial arts awards and is a member of the Newark Bronze Shields Fraternal Police Organization.

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