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Bergen County Police chief takes last walk through door as force faces merger plans


photo by Janet Occhiuzzo Higgins

Bergen County Police chief takes last walk through door as force faces merger plans

DECEMBER 12, 2014, 6:23 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2014, 6:50 PM

The Bergen County Police Department chief known for his vocal criticism of a police-services merger was speechless Friday during a ceremony to mark his retirement.

Brian Higgins left his department’s Paramus headquarters at 3 p.m. for the last time with a traditional “walkout” ceremony on his 50th birthday, holding hands with his wife, Nanette, and 6-year-old son, Viktor, as the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County played outside. His last official day will be Dec. 31, but he’s taking personal time off in the interim.

“I don’t know what to say, other than thank you,” he told the more than 100 people assembled.

Higgins, a leading opponent of the plan to merge the County Police into the county Sheriff’s Department, announced his retirement last week after nearly 25 years with the county force. He had started his career in Carlstadt and transferred to the county force two years later in the hopes of becoming a mounted officer. He served in that unit and led several other divisions, including the SWAT team and the police academy.

“I’m tearing up,” said Capt. James Mullin, who Higgins advised as his field training officer after he graduated from the academy. “It’s a happy day for him, but it’s a sad day for us.”

11 thoughts on “Bergen County Police chief takes last walk through door as force faces merger plans

  1. why too many cops.

  2. The sooner they merge the better.

  3. Ha ha, you’ll never get me now, copper!

  4. Retire at 50 with a $138,000 pension. Not too shabby. You have to be a CEO of a major corporation to match that.

  5. Pensions have pretty much been abolished in the private sector.

  6. #4 a lot of school superintendents retire a lot higher.

  7. Don’t forget family healthcare coverage for life for a pittance compared to what private sector workers pay for comparable coverage… and he’ll be taking six months of accumulated leave payments as well out the door. Assuming he lives to 80, which is the average US male lifespan, he’ll draw a pension for thirty years versus only 25 years of work. The math doesn’t work here. Maybe he’ll double-dip at the PA or Xanadu as well, I hear that’s a good racket, too.

  8. He won’t be collecting a pension that long and most certainly not at that rate…..the process has already started and the taxpayers are not going to take this bullshit any longer. Enough.
    The rollbacks and slashing will continue until it catches up with this criminal as well.

  9. #6 They don’t retire at 50

  10. #9 the supers work 10 months a year.

  11. I think we can all agree, in addition to way too many Chiefs, there are also too many Supers getting paid too much and drawing larger pensions after 62 or whatever it is. But all of those drawing pensions at age 50 is also riduculous. If you want to retire then take another job, buit don’t start drawing a pension straight away – that’s insanity. They shouldn’t get a dime until they’re at least 60.

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