FAIRVIEW, N.J. -- Two highly regarded Fairview special officers -- both of whom are bi-lingual -- were boosted Tuesday night to full-fledged police.
Officer Diego Porras speaks Spanish, while Tommy Makdis speaks Arabic -- a huge benefit to a borough that has a large population of both,Police Chief Martin Kahn told Daily Voice.
"Fairview is a melting pot of multiple nationalities," the chief said. "We have officers who speak multiple languages that include Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Armenian, Arabic, Greek, and Croatian."
Makdis, a lifelong borough resident, has been a special officer since 2013. He has a bachelors degree from Rutgers University in Criminal Justice.
Porras, a five-year borough resident, has been a special police office since last February and a member of the borough's ambulance corp since 2009. He has an associates degree and is pursuing a bachelors degree at Rutgers University.
The hirings benefit the borough in other ways, Kahn said.
"They were both high on the Civil Service list -- and lucky enough for Fairview were both Class II Special Police Officers here," the chief explained. "This saves the town the cost of having to send them through the full academy for training.
"There are classes they will have to attend to receive their full PTC certification. However, they will start regular duties as police officers in the patrol division."