FAIRFIELD, NJ — While speaking at Monday’s township council meeting, Fairfield Township Police Chief Anthony Manna had nothing but praise for his good friend and former Chief of Police Stephen Filipow, a lifelong Fairfield resident who died on May 18.
Because Filipow was so well respected, the Fairfield mayor and council named the Fairfield Police Department headquarters after him on Oct. 28, 2014. At the time, the lettering “Chief Stephen J. Filipow Public Safety Building” was placed on the east side of the building just above the memorial garden.
Filipow served on the Fairfield Police Department for 31 years and was chief from 1988 until 1993. He was a graduate of the FBI Academy in 1975 and an active member of the Police Chiefs Association.
Filipow had been a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1954 to 1957 and was a member of VFW Post 7925. He was also an active parishioner at St. Thomas More Church, where he was an usher for many years.
Councilman Joseph Cifelli called Filipow “the salt of the earth” and said Filipow would be greatly missed.
Councilman John LaForgia stated that Filipow “helped us through some tough times, and he was always there for the community.”
Council President Michael McGlynn, standing in for Fairfield Mayor James Gasparini, said that the community is definitely going to miss him.
“He served the community with distinction,” said McGlynn, who described Filipow someone who was born and raised in Fairfield and never saw any reason to leave.
Joseph Catenaro, township business administrator, stated that Filipow’s greatest testament is in the wonderful family he left behind. Filipow’s son, Lt. Richard Filipow, retired from active duty on the Fairfield Township Police Department on March 31.
The council and administration gave their condolences to the entire Filipow family, and said kind words about his wife, Claire, and their five children.