HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Former Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Rose Heck offered her “vote of confidence” for Hasbrouck Heights Police Chief Michael Colaneri at Tuesday evening’s Borough of Hasbrouck Heights Council meeting.
Colaneri has been under fire recently, not only an incident that is being investigated by the Bergen County Prosecutors office, but for a statement of “no confidence” issued to the Council by the Hasbrouck Heights Patrol Division at the August 13 council meeting.
Heck, during her eight minute address, noted, while providing background, that she was a four term mayor of Hasbrouck Heights, and had also served in the New Jersey Assembly, where she was an author of the Policemen’s Bill of Rights, that was passed in Trenton.
The former Mayor then began to speak in defense of Chief Colaneri.
“This is a man of integrity, and stature in the community. He grew up in this community, he dedicates his life to this community, not only in his position as chief, or even when he was just a patrolman, but he has been a volunteer forever. He is a wonderful father, a wonderful husband, wonderful grandfather, and to see him go through this and being attacked, unnecesarily, it breaks my heart, because I have always been proud of Police Chief Colaneri.
I was proud when we were named when we named the fifth safest place in the state, and that was in 2015, under his leadership, we have made great strides…. He is a leader of men. You don’t always have to like your boss but you have to respect the work that he has accomplished and he has done so much, that it would take me forever to go through point by point.
So I am here, with my vote of confidence in Police Chief Colaneri.
And my hope, that this council, and you Mayor, will make sure that he is given the vote of confidence that he deserves. And to make certain that any disruption within the department and whoever is doing this be found out, and…. tts just distasteful to me.
“Everything within the department was always handled within the department, never, and I have had Chiefs and known of chiefs when I was the editor of the Observer, that had men who they did not like patrol the railroad tracks at night, and you never saw anything like this. You never saw anything like this, come at a chief, never,
“Its distructive and does not help the police department at all, or the men who voted “yes,” I don’t know why they did it, and I can’t fathom it. But again I am here to tell you that I spoke to the Chief the next morning, and I told him, anything he needs for somebody standing up for him, I will be there for him, and I will work to make sure that people respect him as I do. He deserves that respect. He really, really does
“I know that he has called and reached out to the PBA several times since that night, because it came just as much of a shock to him as it did to me. And they have not responded to him. So please, be very careful, the way you handle this, and Councilman Hillman, I liked your letter, very much. Thank you for doing that for a man who has dedicated his life, not only to the police department, but to the people of Hasbrouck Heights and I will be here at every meeting.
Earlier during the public portion of the meeting, a Hasbrouck Heights resident, addressed the Mayor and Council that he had been assaulted by Hasbrouck Heights Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak on August 1 in Borough Hall. The resident, Glen Paxton, when questioned by Mayor Jack DeLorenzo, stated that he had filed a police report, and was not satisfied with the result.
DeLorenzo, reminded Mr. Paxton several times that he had to be careful of what accusations he made during a public meeting, requested that he send him a letter stating what had happened and he would speak with the Hasbrouck Heights police department and that DeLorenzo would get back in touch with him.
After the public comments portion of the meeting, the Mayor and Council voted to go into a closed session.
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