The land which is now recognized as the Township North Bergen was first settled by the Dutch in the early 1600's under the auspices of the Dutch East
India Company. On October 26, 1661, the Village of North Bergen was incorporated as part of old Bergen Township. Bergen Township became the first
municipality in the territory which is now the State of New Jersey. North Bergen officially became incorporated as the Township of North Bergen on
April 10, 1843 and its boundaries have not changed since the year 1900.
An organized peace force known as "roundsmen" existed in North Bergen since 1907. Roundsmen patrolled the township, mostly in the evening hours and
helped protect the community against robberies, fires, and disturbances. By 1920, the population of North Bergen had increased considerably and the
need for a dedicated police force had become a necessity. An ordinance to establish a modern police department was introduced on December 6, 1923 and
was adopted on December 20, 1923 by Mayor Charles J. Morris and the board council.
The original ordinance called for a Chief of Police, a Captain of Police, four (4) Lieutenants of Police, three (3) Sergeants of Police and forty-one
(41) Patrolmen. According to the ordinance, the duties of the police department were "to repair serious fires, riots or tumultuous assemblages occurring
within the township, to save and protect property, and to arrest or cause to be arrested such persons as may be violating laws, disturbing the peace or
inciting others to do so." A patrol officer's starting salary was $2000.00 per year while the Chief of Police earned $4000.00 per annum.
The North Bergen Police Department currently has 115 sworn law enforcement officers and services over 60,000 residents, in over 22,000 households in
an area covering just over 5.5 square miles. The ordinance currently calls for a Chief of Police, two (2) Deputy Chiefs, three (3) Police Captains,
eight (8) Police Lieutenants, eighteen (18) Police Sergeants, and seventy-five (75) Police Officers. Today, the North Bergen Police Department is
responsive to community needs as well as adapting to the changing nature of crime. This includes responding to natural disasters, investigating juvenile
offenses and matters of school related security, handling investigations into terrorism, Internet fraud schemes, identity theft, narcotics offenses,
incidents of arson, burglary, robbery, and all major crimes, as well as a host of quality life offenses. Members of the North Bergen Police Department
also work cooperatively with other local, county, state, and federal law enforcement partners in an effort to reduce crime and enhance the quality of
life within the Township of North Bergen. The North Bergen Police Department has been served by nine Police Chief's over the course of nearly a
North Bergen Police Department: Chief's of Police
- James Nolan
- Leonard Marcy
- John J. Simmen
- Charles Steinel
- John Schlicht
- George Lehman
- Angelo T. Busacco
- William F. Galvin, Jr.
- Robert J. Dowd (Current)
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