Police & Fire

Little Falls Acknowledges Sheriff's Department, Hires New Police Officer

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik is presented a plaque by Little Falls Mayor James Damiano, in appreciation for the Passaic County Sheriff's Dept. help in providing a mobile command post. Credits: Tina Pappas
Police Officer Louis Racanelli is sworn in as the latest member of the Little Falls Police Department by Mayor James Damiano. Credits: Tina Pappas
The newest member of the Little Falls Police Department, Officer Louis Racanelli, stands with Police Chief Steven Post and fellow officers. Credits: Tina Pappas

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - A special acknowledgment was given to Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik and the Passaic County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) by Little Falls Mayor James Damiano and council members during the recent Township Council meeting held on June 12.

"This acknowledgment is for some assistance that the Sheriff's Department provided for us here in Little Falls," Damiano explained. Sgt. Dan Gianduso, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinator, then presented an honorary plaque to Berdnik.

According to Gianduso, the Little Falls Police Department acquired an old senior citizen bus that was to be auctioned off. Instead, the bus got a second life when it was refurbished, as a result of the Little Falls Police Department paying for the materials that were used by the PCSD, which provided the labor. The bus is now being used as a mobile command post and is housed in the township municipal building.

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"The bus was revamped and it looks like a brand new piece of equipment," Gianduso explained. "They did a great job."

Gianduso added that the mobile command post will be used by the police and fire departments to aid in planned events and emergency situations.

Damiano read the proclamation honoring the Sheriff's Department.

"In great appreciation for your generous support, from the Little Falls Office of Emergency Management." Damiano said. "Thank you, Sheriff."

Berdnik then spoke afterwards.

"It's our pleasure to provide a service that the county should be providing," Berdnik said. "I'd like to commend Chief Post and the entire Little Falls Police Department for doing an outstanding job and their partnership, including Mayor Damiano and council members."

Damiano then introduced the newest officer, Officer Louis "Lou" Racanelli, to join to the Little Falls Police Department and conducted a swearing in ceremony.

A lifelong resident of the township, Racanelli is a graduate of Passaic Valley High School's Class of 2007. He received an associate's degree in criminal justice from Passaic Community College in 2010. He attended the Passaic County Police Academy in 2015 and upon graduation, began his career with the Montclair State University (MSU) Police Department. He then transferred to the Little Falls Police Department from the MSU State Police Department.

Additionally, he served the township as a volunteer firefighter with Great Notch Company #4 since 2010.

We have an exciting addition to our team," said Damiano, and congratulated Racanelli.

After the council meeting, Lt. James Minnella commented.

"We are proud to have Officer Racanelli as a member of our department," Minnella said. "He has deeply seeded roots in our community and will make an excellent addition to our agency. He exemplifies the Little Falls police core values of honor, integrity and community."


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