Union City names Luster first female police chief, promotes 7 other officers

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The Union City Police Department wasted little time in taking away Nichelle Luster’s “acting” title, making her the first female police chief in Hudson County, at a ceremony where they also promoted seven other officers. 

From left to right: Ridgewood Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke, Bergenfield Police Chief Cathy Madalone, Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster and East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi. Photo via Union City Police Department Twitter.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“@UnionCityPD is pleased to announce Nichelle Luster has been sworn in as the new Chief of Police! Chief Luster, who has served at our department for 24 years succeeds Ret. @moli315,” the department announced on Twitter last night after a short ceremony at Colin Powell Elementary School.

Molinari, a 30-year veteran of the department, announced his retirement about a month ago, although he did not officially retire until December 1st.

As he made his exit, Luster was quickly named the acting chief.

Additionally, Lts. James D’Andrea and Anthony Facchini were promoted to captain, Sgts. Archer Cuellar and Richard Ocasio earned the distinction of lieutenant, while Officers Joseph Casazza and Christina Garces were made sergeants.

Furthermore, Capt. Brian Wolpert was promoted to police inspector, a new position within the ranks of the UCPD.

Earlier this week, HCV noted that D’Andrea, who recently received a clean bill of health after battling cancer for eight years, was eligible to be promoted to captain.