As one of only four Bomb Technicians in Rockland County, Joseph Selchick is called upon for his expertise at all hours of the day and night and no day on the job is ever the same. From countywide patrols to fire scenes to investigating suspicious packages, Joe performs many duties at the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office—as a member of the patrol division, bomb squad, and community policing and drone specialty units—all critical to ensuring safety in the community he has called home all of his life.
“The most rewarding part of my career is being able to help and protect the people in the county that I was born and raised in,” he says, adding that he grew up in Suffern where he and his family still live. “That’s what I like best about my job…protecting my home community.”
Joe was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in 2017. Two years later, he was selected to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hazardous Devices School where he graduated and earned the title of Nationally Certified Bomb Technician. Since then, he has traveled the country and completed numerous advanced schools offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI. In 2021, Joe attended the New York State Fire Academy where he successfully completed the training and field work required to become a Fire and Arson Investigator.
“I look forward to continuing my training in partnership with the ATF and FBI, and taking as many courses as possible to further my education within my line of work,” he says, adding that many people don’t realize that the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office even has a bomb squad.
Recently, Joe attended and successfully passed the NYPD’s Motorcycle Evaluation course, where he will continue training to become a motorcycle officer at the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office. He also became a member of the Sheriff’s Office’s new CTPED team (crime prevention through environmental design). In this role, he visits local businesses, schools, and establishments to assess the safety and security of the properties. He provides feedback and creates a presentation for the property owner, principal, or property manager with recommendations on how to enhance safety and secure the property from potential crime. In October 2022, Joe shared his expertise with his alma mater, completing an assessment at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
Joe knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. When he was 17, he enlisted in the United States Army National Guard where he served for 10 years in a Military Police Battalion. He later enlisted in the Air National Guard where he served four years as a Staff Sergeant in a Security Forces Squadron. He also served on weekends during his years at St. Thomas Aquinas College where he studied Criminal Justice. Joe’s contributions through his military service have been honored with many awards, including the Long and Faithful Service Medal in 2013 and 2018 and more recently, the Meritorious Unit Ribbon. He is also the recipient of the Army Achievement Medal. In his law enforcement career, he is a three-time recipient of the Excellent Police Duty Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Personal Achievement Award, and the Unit Citation Award.
As a student at STAC, Joe interned in Rockland County, splitting his time with the Town of Ramapo Police Department and the Clarkstown Police Department. While interning, he met many colleagues he works alongside today.
“I did multiple internships and networked with many police officers who are still working now,” he says. “STAC had so many people teaching who were also in the criminal justice field. That made a huge difference in my education.” Joe still keeps in touch with his college mentors, including Dr. Ellen Chayet, Professor of Criminal Justice, and Jim Nawoichyk, BS ’89, MBA ’21, Director of Campus Health & Safety at STAC and an instructor in the criminal justice program.
When he isn’t working, Joe works out at the gym and catches up on episodes of Blue Bloods. For his next vacation, he is looking forward to exploring Iceland.