The North Bergen Police Department swore in five new officers at township hall chambers this afternoon, four of which are veterans of the United States Marine Corps, Army and Navy.
New officers joining the department are Jorge Vanegas and Cristobal Lara-Nunez, as well as recruits Xavier Romo, Felix Vargas and Jennifer Fernandez.
The ceremony was led by Police Chief Robert Dowd and Commissioners Frank Gargiulo, Hugo Cabrera and Mayor Nick Sacco all said a few worlds before the actual swearing-in and oath of office.
Afterwards, Dowd spoke to Hudson County View about being able to fill his department to capacity (120 officers), as well as being able to employ armed services veterans.
We also caught up with Lara-Nunez, an army veteran who was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, which earned him a prestigious Purple Heart award for his service to our country.
With the new additions, the North Bergen Police Department is now 57 percent Hispanic and 12 percent female.