A Discussion with Glenn Yanovak On Staying Motivated in the Face of Adversity

Glenn Yanovak was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. He graduated in 1986 from Morris Knolls High School and later attended the County College of Morris in 1995 to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. In 1992 Mr. Yanovak became a dispatcher with the Hanover Twp. Police department with the goal of becoming a patrolman. […]

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 Glenn Yanovak
Glenn Yanovak

Glenn Yanovak was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. He graduated in 1986 from Morris Knolls High School and later attended the County College of Morris in 1995 to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. In 1992 Mr. Yanovak became a dispatcher with the Hanover Twp. Police department with the goal of becoming a patrolman. In January of 1993 Mr. Yanovak was promoted to the rank of patrolman.

Mr. Yanovak was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (M.A.D.D.) for his productivity while leading the Hanover Twp. Police in drunk driving arrests from 1999 – 2005. In 2006, Mr. Yanovak was assigned to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office special investigations unit (SIU) for one year where he assisted in major crime investigations throughout Morris County and Northern New Jersey.

Upon Mr. Yanovak’s return to the Hanover Twp. Police Dept. in 2007 he was promoted to the rank of detective where he excelled in criminal investigations and interviewing tactics. Mr. Yanovak was recognized by the Morris County Detectives Association for his investigative skills.

In 2017, Mr. Yanovak transitioned into a new career as a private investigator. Mr. Yanovak currently resides in Morris County with his two daughters.  

You were previously in law enforcement. How did you first break into the industry?

While working on my degree in criminal justice at the County College of Morris I was hired by the Hanover Twp. Police department in 1992 as a dispatcher with the understanding that I would be promoted to the rank of patrolman once the position became available. I worked diligently as a dispatcher and patiently waited for a position to open. That opportunity presented itself in January of 1993 when I was promoted to the rank of patrolman.

What does a typical day in law enforcement consist of for you?

My typical day as a law enforcement officer usually starts out the same as many other officers. To start a normal day, the officer will arrive for duty prior to his or her shift. The officer will then put on his or her uniform and ensure that all equipment is thoroughly inspected. All officers meet for a pre-shift briefing where they receive their assignments for the day. Officers will also be briefed on the activities of the officers on the prior shift. This is where the similarities of the day end, as there is no such thing as a typical day in law enforcement. An officer never knows what the day has in store. The officer will be tasked with handling simple calls like disabled motor vehicles to major crimes like shootings and aggravated assaults. As an officer, you need to be prepared for anything the day throws their way.

What keeps you motivated while on duty?

I am continuously motivated by the fact that no two days are ever the same. My desire to help and educate people in their time of need, never wavers and this keeps me motivated. I enjoy knowing that I what I do positively affects so many people, this always keeps me motivated.

Tell our readers a little bit about the volunteer work you do.

While being a police officer you have the opportunity to interact with your community in a variety of ways. I have had the pleasure of teaching 1-3 graders school bus, pedestrian and bicycle safety. I have lectured seniors on the current phone scams geared at taking their money. I have volunteered to be a neighborhood watch and crime prevention officer during my career, helping the community feel safe in their homes and neighborhood. I served my local Union as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. I am proud to say that this union regularly donated to the community through little league and soccer team sponsorships to scholarships for High School seniors. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I have been inspired from my father who served as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years in a neighboring community. My father was always a role model to me and my siblings.  

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I am a self-admitted workaholic and my two daughters are what keeps me grounded. I am fortunate to have learned early on that the time spent with my children is precious. An understanding that family comes first has helped me appreciate what is important in life.

What traits do you possess that makes you a successful leader in law enforcement?

My drive and determination to always better myself are traits that have made me a successful leader. There was no greater honor then being named a three term Union President, which is a peer elected position.

How do you motivate others?

I find the best way to motivate others is to understand what makes them happy. No two people are alike, but everyone has an interest or a passion. The key to motivation is finding that passion and creating a way to support it. The greatest motivational tool for others is inspiration. Praise before discipline is a motto that I strive to live by.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

One piece of advice that was passed down to me is that no matter what you do, give it your all and you will never be disappointed. I live by these words, and everything I do, I do with passion and effort. I have passed this quality on to my daughters and have taught them the importance of trying your hardest.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is my ability to balance my career and my time with my family. Being a police officer is a highly demanding career, and the ability to switch off at the end of a shift is necessary in order to spend quality time with the people I love.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

Outside of my career, what defines me is the connection I have with my family and the time I spend with my daughters. Whenever I am not working, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, they help keep me grounded and motivated.

Explain the proudest day of your professional life.

The proudest day of my professional life was the day I graduated from the police academy. My father was at my ceremony in his department uniform and he handed me my certificate. This day will always stand out to me as my proudest day, as it is the day that got my career started and I was fortunate enough to have my father be part of it.

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