PATERSON, NJ - Mayor Andre Sayegh led a promotion ceremony for six members of the Paterson Police Department on Wednesday.

Joined by Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim "Mike" Baycora, and Paterson City Council President Maritza Davila, as well as members Ruby Cotton and Luis Velez, Sayegh told those being promoted that was proud of the Paterson Police Department, and proud of their efforts to keep Paterson safe.

"Service is our purpose," Sayegh said of their shared commitment to the community. "It is why we get up every morning.

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In his first promotion ceremony since his own ascension to the top spot in the Department Baycora thanked the men for the sacrifices they have made to this point, including time away from their families. Sharing his confidence in their abilities to take on the new roles Baycora warned that it wouldn't be easy.

One third of the members of the Paterson Police Department has less than five years on the job, and the Department is still 38 members short of where they should be. Still, he said, each will excel transcend simply being managers and become true leaders.

"Managers do things right," Baycora said. "Leaders do the right thing."

With a combined 130 years of service to the Paterson Police Department, the newly promoted officers reflected the diversity of Paterson, including Lt. Manuel Hernandez, who, after arriving in the US at just 7-year-old became the first Cuban-American to hold the position locally. Also being promoted was Captain David Rios who has served three tours of duty in Iraq.

Every seat in the council chambers was full of loved ones for the ceremony, as dozens of Paterson police officers stood around the room, bringing attention the importance of family, both at home and on the job, for those that wear the badge. Included was Carl McDowell, Jr.

Missing a day of school to see his father sworn in as a lieutenant, the seven-year-old, said he felt "good" about his "brave dad" and was proud of his efforts to "keep our country safe."

Carl Jr., he told TAPinto Paterson, hopes to be a teacher, an aspiration he owes to being "pretty good at geography."


Promoted were:

Rank of Police Captain

Capt. David Rios

Rank of Police Lieutenant

Lt. Carl McDowell

Lt. Manuel Hernandez*

Rank of Police Sergeant 

Sgt. John Luizzi

St. Steve Leishman

Sgt. Christopher Ravallese

* Lt. Manuel Hernandez is the first Cuban-American Lieutenant in Paterson’s history.

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