The Ridgefield Park Police Department was officially established on June 26, 1893, by the Village Board of Trustees, at which time Captain was the highest rank. The three Police officers appointed were done so at the discretion of the Board and could be removed from their position at any time, at the pleasure of the Board. It was not until July 1, 1916 that the office of Chief of Police was enacted.
Our newly formed police department had the responsibility to protect life and property and enforce all laws and ordinances. They were also responsible to impound all goats, sheep, horses, swine, and cattle found running at large within the boundaries of the Village.
In 1911 The Captain was earning $75 per month, with $125 per year for expenses and he had to furnish his own uniform. A patrolman was earning $50 per month; one Patrolman also received $300 per year as the municipal janitor. By 1923 the salaries and the department had risen accordingly, with patrolmen earning a maximum of $2,500 a year. Currently a newly appointed patrolman can expect to earn a starting salary of just over $31,000 a year, a sizable jump since 1893.
Since 1893 the department has made great advances in the field of law enforcement. Currently our officers are more career oriented and much more highly trained. They are also better educated, with most officers holding college degrees. Our officers train continuously in all phases of police tactics and stay updated and educated on constant changes in laws and trends effecting law enforcement.
Our department is still engaged in the protection of all Village residents and visitors. We are a link in a nationwide network of law enforcement agencies able to communicate with each other almost instantly via a sophisticated computer system. Over the years the department has enlisted the aid of law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The Ridgefield Park Police Department has worked with Homeland Security, DEA, Customs, FBI and Secret Service in local investigations. Additionally, we work closely with all County and State law enforcement agencies.
The department’s mission is still the same as it was in 1893.
While the names of the men and women engaged in service to the community may change, their performance and concern for the Village and its people will never change.
It will be, as it has always been, exemplary.