WOODLAND PARK, NJ - A life-long resident of the borough has become the latest addition to the Woodland Park police Department (WPPD).
Daniel Schaefer, a graduate of Passaic Valley High School's Class of 2006, and a dispatcher for the police department for the past decade, was sworn in as a police officer during a ceremony at the March 1 Borough Council meeting. Police Chief Anthony Galietti recalled Schaefer eagerness to become a police officer, just like his older brother, Leonard Schaefer, who was sworn in 2010.
"We had many conversations regarding his goal of becoming police officer, so I kept encouraging him to take that police officer test and one day his dream would come true," he said. "Sometime last year, Danny and I were talking about maybe him not entering the Special Officer Class II program. I thought with a little more experience, he'd make himself more marketable for a police department that may be looking for an officer, which at that point, he wouldn't have to go to a full academy.
According to Galietti, many police departments have been taking part in alternative hiring, instead of sending candidates out to the police academy in order to save on the cost. Schaefer had originally applied to other departments besides the Woodland Park Police Department. Galietti previously made a recommended for Schaefer to go to another police department.
"With the retirement of Lt. John Frasco, we were able to generate our list and his name came up. We then conducted interviews with the candidates who were on the list," Galietti said, adding that he, along with Capt. Eileen Tiernan and Det. Lt. John Uzzalino, conducted the interviews with the candidates.
"At the end of the interviews, we came up with the candidate Schaefer to fill that void in our department and that was a great thing for us," he explained. "Danny won't have to go through the full academy and he'll have to make up 40 hours worth of classes, so then he'll be good to go."
Schaefer graduated the Passaic County Police Academy as a Special Officer Class II on Dec.1, 2016.
After being sworn in by Mayor Keith Kazmark, and being presented with a police badge by his mother, Schaefer spoke to those in attendance. He thanked all the men and women of the WPPD who came out to support him.
"I can't wait to serve with you guys. I've been here at the department for 10 years and am a lifelong resident," Schaefer stated, adding that his father lived in the Dowling Parkway area for 60 years.
"This is an honor for my family," he added, and thanked Galietti, Kazmark, and members of the council.