BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The police department gained a new officer Tuesday night when Mayor Robert Woodruff swore in Probationary Patrolman John J. Falivene.

Chief John DiPasquale introduced Falivene and his family. "This is a big day for us. We like to ...  introduce them to all the residents and the Council and the mayor," he said.

Falivene grew up in Blairstown and graduated from North Warren High School in 2001 and then attended Warren County Community College. He joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and in his first seven years was deployed four times - to Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti, following the earthquake. His last three years with the Marines, he was a Command Instructor and was, on a daily basis, in charge of 25 combat instructors and 440 entry level Marines, DiPasquale said. 

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He had attained the rank of E6, Staff Sergeant, at the time he left the Marines and had acquired a number of medals and ribbons, 21 in total, for his service.

Falivene enrolled in the Passaic County Police Academy Alternate Route Program and graduated in March. "We worked with John" and talked with him while he was in the Academy and were "extremely impressed about how people spoke about him," using words such as "intelligent, professional, mature, nature leader, dedicated, integrity and character," the chief said. He congratulated the new officer and his family and invited them to come up. 

The mayor swore in Falivene as his wife, Lindsey held a Bible and his daughters watched. Officers, who watched from the back of the room, residents, Council members and the Mayor offered their hardy applause at the end of the ceremony.