FAIRVIEW, N.J. — As retiring Fairview Police Chief Thomas Juliano took his final walkout from headquarters on Monday -- the department's first-ever for its top officer -- an important part of him remained behind.
Four years after joining the force in 1990, Juliano drew up what was then a new design for a patch that fellow officers would proudly display on their left arms.
"It's sad to see him go," Deputy Police Chief Martin Kahn said, "but the patch isn't going anywhere."
Juliano made an even more significant mark after officially becoming chief more than a year and a half ago.
"In just a short tenure, he definitely upped the morale," said Kahn, Juliano's first cousin, who will assume the job next week. "I've been here 22 years and I haven't seen anything like it."
With Kahn on one side and Mayor Vincent Bellucci, Jr. on the other, Juliano headed up Garfield up Garfield Street — closed down for the occasion -- from headquarters Monday afternoon.
Accompanied by bagpiper Jason Kagan of the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County, they made their way to the borough firehouse, where dozens of officers awaited.
Juliano shook each and every hand.
The 23-year department veteran comes from a family of public servants, many of them police officers.
He rose steadily through the department ranks before taking over as the department’s officer-in-charge when former Chief Frank DelVecchio retired in April 2014. Five months later, Juliano was sworn in as chief.
"I'm going to miss these guys a lot," said Juliano, moments after shaking every officer's hand at the end of his walkout. "This department has some of the best officers in Bergen County.
"It's been a pleasure for me to work with them."
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