WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Former longtime Police Captain Joe Lambert, 79, of Woodland Park, passed away on Nov. 12. 

Born in Paterson on Sept. 16, 1940 to the late William and Maria (LaMarra) Lambert, Joe served in the U.S. Air Force and later served on the West Paterson Police Department for 29 years, retiring as Captain in 1989. He was also a member and former commander of the American Legion Post #238 and a member of the Emerald Society of Passaic County, SIGN, NJ Honor Legion and the PBA Local #173.

In 2017, Lambert was honored by the Irish Echo at its Law and Order dinner in New York City and was selected as the Society's 2019 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. 

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WPPD Police Chief Eileen Tiernan worked with Captain Lambert in the earlier part of her career. 

“He was always fair and professional,” she said. “He gave me great advice that I carried with me throughout my career. I remember I was when I was completing one of my first police reports. He told me if you are signing your name to the report make sure it is your best work because it is your last name." 

Chief Tiernan said that not only did Captain Lambert make her a better police officer, he made a lot of the department members better police officers.

“Frankly, they don’t make them like Joe Lambert anymore,” Mayor Kazmark said. "He was a dedicated husband, father, public servant and veteran. Whether it was his service to our country, the American Legion, the Board of Education, or the West Paterson Police Department, Joe Lambert was always there to help make our community a better place.”

Mayor Kazmark said that Lambert was committed to his beliefs, yet always expressed it in his jovial way. “He was a good hearty gentleman,” he said. 

Husband to Carol Lambert for 53 years; father of Dana and Joseph Lambert and uncle of Amy, Billy and Charlotte. He was predeceased by his brother William Lambert.

Arrangements were handled by Santangelo Funeral Home.