HAWTHORNE, NJ - When Captain Robert King was promoted Tuesday, wearing a mask and at a distance from Mayor Richard Goldberg who administered the oath of office, he stepped into the shoes left behind by Operations Captain Jeffrey Vanderhook.  Vanderhook is retiring after 28 years of service and is a man the mayor described as "a tremendous asset". 

Vanderhook served with the Hawthorne Police Department since 1992.  According to Hawthorne Police Chief Richard M. McAuliffe, he completed his basic training at the Passaic County Police Academy and worked in the patrol division.  In January of 2000, he was assigned as a detective and promoted to sergeant.  He worked in the detective bureau for nine years, was promoted to lieutenant in 2010, and served as a tour commander.  Three years later, Vanderhook was promoted again to captain.  As Operations Captain, he was responsible for overseeing the investigations bureau and internal affairs.

"Jeff will be sorely missed," McAuliffe said.  "He’s been an instrumental member of the police department since he was hired. He ran numerous fundraisers for the PBA and benefits for children in the borough. His length of time and experience in the investigations bureau, his career-wide contacts throughout the country will be missed."

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Robert King also completed his basic training at the Passaic County Police Academy and joined the Hawthorne Police Department in March of 1997, working in the patrol division for almost seven years before being assigned as a detective in the detective bureau.  In 2012, King was promoted and became a patrol sergeant.  Four years later, King was promoted to lieutenant and became a tour commander.  On Tuesday, he exchanged his lieutenant's bars for captain's.  "Since April 1," McAuliffe said, "he oversees the Internal Affairs unit and will take over as the Operation Captain."

Of the new captain, McAuliffe said, "Captain King has been an inspiration to the thousands of children in our school system throughout his career.  From the ROAR program, to the Juvenile Police Academy and Leadership Camp, you can’t really go through town without a child asking 'Where is Detective King?'  Between his previous time in the detective bureau and his upkeep in training and his contacts, he’ll fall right into place in the Operations Unit."

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