WOODLAND PARK, NJ - The Borough of Woodland Park honored several of their finest and a local centurion at their recent council meeting on Jan. 18.
Two police officers were promoted within the ranks of the Woodland Park Police Department. Sgt. Jeffrey O'Brien was promoted to police lieutenant. Det. Carlo Renne was promoted to police sergeant.
According to Mayor Keith Kazmark, the ranks became open due to the recent retirement of Lt. John Frasco, who served with the department for 29 years.
"We thank you for every one of those years you've given to our community," Kazmark said to Frasco.
Chief Anthony Galietti also commented during the evening.
"I want to congratulate Lt. Frasco," he said. "It's always good to have movement in the department and it gives everyone an opportunity to move up the ladder and have a nice career here in Woodland Park." He added that the two officers were the ones he felt would best fit the positions at this time and have proven themselves.
O'Brien has been a resident of the borough since 1995 and is a graduate of Clifton High School. He holds a degree from Montclair State College and was hired as an officer in Woodland Park in 2000. He was promoted to sergeant in 2007.
"He's one of my traffic construction investigators and is a member of the traffic association," added Galietti. "Jeff has always been there for me and has always done what I asked of him. You are a gentleman and you serve this community well. You deserve this rank of lieutenant and the community is proud of you."
Kazmark shared a recollection of when his father suffered a heart attack in 2005.
"I've seen Jeff in action. He was one of the first two officers who responded and brought my father back to life," added Kazmark. "My family has seen his work firsthand and I could not be prouder than to have him sworn in."
O'Brien commented on his promotion, thanking Galietti, Kazmark, and council members, family and friends.
"I'd also like to thank my brothers and sisters in the police department," he added. "It means a lot of have all of you here."
The evening's honors then spotlighted Carlo Renne, a lifelong resident of Woodland Park. A graduate of Passaic Valley High School, Renne was hired in 2004 after serving eight years in the Paterson Police Department.
Galietti spoke of Renne's dedication.
"He has been working with the WPPD's Detective Bureau for the past four years and was promoted to detective last year," Galietti explained. "He has always assisted the prosecutors in the crime division and worked with the DEA, the prosecutors in Bergen County for the last two years."
Galietti also noted that since coming to the WPPD he has brought a lot of experience with him having worked in Paterson.
"He has brought a different element to the department, which is a good element," he added. "He's been working very hard with this bureau actually losing sleep because I'm losing a very good detective, but also gaining a very good supervisor. He has worked hard, has always been there and deserves this."
Kazmark said that Renne comes from a family that is very true to public service.
"When Carlo first came to the Woodland Park Police Department, he was a transfer and transfers were rare at the time," he said. "He brought a certain type of knowledge and know-how when it came to narcotics cases, that's so desperately needed now locally."
Renne expressed his appreciation to Kazmark, Galietti, his family, friends and coworkers.
"I work with the greatest group of guys you could ask for. I've had the ability to learn since I've come here 13 years ago, working under Lt. Frasco," Renne said. "He has to be one of the smartest men I know and I thank him for that. I look forward to serving you and I thank you all for being here."
Also honored during the evening was Josephine Borowski, a local resident and centurion.
"When I first found out you were 100 I was in disbelief," Kazmark said, and presented her with a mayor's certificate and mayor's pin.
Award presentations were also given to the local competition cheerleading championship teams. The awards were distributed by Councilwoman Tracy Kallert, former cheerleading commissioner for the West Paterson Boys & Girls Club.