ESSEX FELLS, NJ — Essex Fells Mayor Edward Abbot administered the oath of office to the newly appointed Essex Fells Chief of Police William Theilacker, Lt. Darren Volker, Sgt. Joseph Matrisciano and police officer Jonathon Berger. All officers were joined by members of their family as they were sworn in during the borough council meeting on Tuesday.

According to Abbot, Essex Fells has a very difficult interview process for anyone wishing to be an officer. When the interview process began, he said there were more than 150 applicants wanting to join the force.

“This is a wonderful evening that has been in the works for a long time,” said Abbot. “This is a tremendous acknowledgement of all the hard work of our police department here in Essex Fells.”

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Theilacker, who joined the force in 1990, takes over from Vincent Kulik, who retired on Feb. 1 after 30 years of service (see story HERE). Theilacker is a certified DARE instructor, EMT, CPR instructor and IT officer and has also served as both a bicycle and motorcycle police officer.

“Bill exemplifies all that we look for in a police officer, as do the others,” said Abbot. “These people love our community and our community loves them. We are so thrilled to swear him is as our 10th chief of police here in Essex Fells.”

Volker, who has been on the Essex Fells Police Department since 1995, was promoted to the position of lieutenant. Not only did he serve as a police officer for 13 years, but he was also certified as a firearms instructor, drug recognition expert, active school and security liaison.

Volker holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License and also oversees a variety of other departments within the Essex Fells Police Department.

Matrisciano, who was recently promoted to the position of Sergeant, began his career as a police dispatcher in 1998 before becoming a police officer in 2000. He served as a detective from 2011 to 2013 and is also an EMT, CPR instructor and liaison for the Narcan program.

“Joe is one of those guys who you see on the road all the time,” said Abbot.

Berger, who was recently selected to be on the police force, began his career in Ridgefield as a Special Law Enforcement officer while attending Bergen Community College. Berger received his Associated Degree in Criminal Justice before becoming an Emergency Dispatcher and Fair Lawn Police Officer.

Essex Fells School hosted the promotion and swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday with a reception immediately following at the Essex Fells Service Building.