Eric Scheffler was elected Sheriff of Atlantic County in November of 2017 and took office in January, 2018. Eric retired as a Lieutenant with the Atlantic City Police Department. During his tenure there, he served in both the Patrol and Training Divisions. His hard work and dedication led to his promotion to Shift Commander in the Patrol Division and to Commander of the Training Unit. During his career, his commitment to his own professional development led to Eric becoming a certified instructor in twenty-two different law enforcement training curriculums. He also personally created eleven law enforcement instructor courses. Nineteen police departments in New Jersey are currently using his programs, including the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Eric also worked as a paraprofessional at Mainland Regional High School where he mentored at-risk youth as well as intellectually and developmentally disabled students. He has also volunteered his time as a founding member of Mainland’s “One Life Committee”, tackling heroin and opioid addiction issues in our schools. In addition to his tireless commitment to this diverse population, Eric created an “Option-based” protocol empowering teachers and students to make decisions in the event of an active shooter/violent intruder event.
Immediately upon commencing his tenure as Atlantic County Sheriff, he began to redirect the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office mission to focus on professional development programs that empower and emphasize leadership development and enhanced organizational efficiency and effectiveness. At the foundation of his beliefs, is the idea of “Partnerships and problem solving” which stand as the pillars of a solid community oriented policing strategy. Sheriff Scheffler has begun forming those partnerships to problem solve with many community leadership groups to address our most pressing issues such as the heroin/opioid epidemic, homelessness, mental health, and violence plaguing our country. Sheriff Scheffler believes we are affected as a community by these issues regardless of political affiliation, socio-economic status, geography or race. He believes we are much stronger when we emphasize our commonalities as human beings and Americans, as opposed to arguing our beliefs based on opposing political ideologies.
One of the issues that Eric is passionate about is “post-traumatic stress” or “PTS(D)” experienced by First Responders and the importance of developing resiliency to deal with the cumulative trauma these professionals endure. The reality is that our First Responder community is one of the most underserved populations when it comes to mental health awareness and the effects of trauma/PTS. For many, it could be a “career ender” due to the stigma associated with coming forward to ask for help. This perspective needs to change in the public safety realm. Stress is a normal reaction to abnormal events and must be treated as such. First responders must know that there is help available and trauma is treatable.
The Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office is committed to creating change within our organization and providing our members with services and treatment guidance if they find themselves in a personal crisis. In any organization, its people are its greatest asset… and we intend to honor that mantra by providing a safe environment for our personnel to seek assistance.
Sheriff Scheffler is an Atlantic County native. He was raised in Margate, NJ and currently resides in Northfield NJ with his wife Maria and their family. Eric has dedicated his life to public service protecting Atlantic County families and schools.