Fair Lawn Police Officer Resigns

Officer Juan Rodriguez will resign his position with the Fair Lawn Police Department effective June 29 and join the Paterson Police Department.

officer Juan Rodriguez, who was , has resigned, effective June 29, to accept a position with the Paterson Police Department.

Rodriguez, an Afghanistan war veteran, had worked as a patrolman in Paterson for four years before being laid off by the department in 2011, and taking a job in Fair Lawn. When he was recently offered his old job back, the Paterson native and longtime resident decided to return to the department.

While Rodriguez could not be reached for comment, borough manager Tom Metzler said his decision to leave Fair Lawn was not made lightly.

"Per his conversations with me yesterday, it was not an easy decision for him," Metzler said Friday. "But Paterson offers lifetime healthcare benefits after they retire and Fair Lawn does not. I think the decision was an economic one."

Metzler said he did not believe Rodriguez's departure was related to .

"He was nothing but grateful," Metzler said. "He said it was a very, very difficult decision for him, that he felt very well accepted in Fair Lawn and very well entrenched, enjoyed working in the community, was grateful for the opportunity to work here, but he just felt that this was what was best for him and his family."

With the resignation of Rodriguez, the is back down to 54 officers and will immediately begin looking for a replacement.


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FairlAWNisFINISHED June 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Mr. Knuckle, fyi it's both economical and what the papers read probably added to his decision. Fair Lawn Police Officers are at the bottom of total payscale and compensation package.
FairlAWNisFINISHED June 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM
ZAK, has the PBA been contacted regarding this for any further insight?
Fairlawn June 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Does anyone what is the salary for the fairlawn police department?
Jose Espinal June 23, 2012 at 04:56 PM
This is even more evidence how Fair Lawn is unfair to its borough employees, When a city like Paterson with hundreds of police employees can offer a better overall compensation package than a rich community like Fair Lawn. Buena suerte en sus proyectos futuros Officer Rodriguez!
Jose Espinal June 23, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I would agree, who would stay in a town that doesn't provide health benefits for those who sacrificed their lives on every call they go on.
Jose Espinal June 23, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Ir donde el dinero es el distrito de fair lawn podría cuidar menos sobre usted y su familia, beneficios para la salud son muy importantes!
Jose Espinal June 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Juan, beneficios para la salud son muy importantes, es una lástima que no entiende de fair lawn, cuán importante es la familia y el cuidado de la familia, Paterson NJ cuida de sus policías Bienvenidos nuevamente!
Bender June 24, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Douglas Bradley Haber June 24, 2012 at 02:49 AM
It's a shame that Fair Lawn lost you. Good luck "Jarod".
Johnny Rivera June 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Manager Metzler hit the nail on the head, Paterson has a better package to offer police officers than Fair Lawn, how dispicable that is. Yet nothing is ever done. I guess people in charge are not smart enough to figure out the real underlying problems that is plain to see in the police department. Does anyone really realize how many officers have left Fair Lawn for the county and other police departments? It's a disgusting trend, and nobody is to blame but the boro council for not having similar contracts as the surrouding towns, and not making sure problems are solved. Taxpayers lose when you have a penny wise mindset and think you are getting something for less, guess what, you are getting less for something when it's less! All at the expense of higher crime and higher taxes for you, the local taxpayer!
Johnny Rivera June 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
"But Paterson offers lifetime healthcare benefits after they retire and Fair Lawn does not. I think the decision was an economic one." Metzler stated. Thats it in a nutshell, economics 101, and the Fair Lawn taxpayer loses on the cheap once again, like the dozens of other officers who have left for greener pastures!
FL-Rez June 24, 2012 at 02:54 PM
If we hire a person to become an officer and that officer leaves to go to another police department, is that a big waist of money [economics 101]?
Johnny Rivera June 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Fl-rez, yes it is, and this wouldn't happen if the overall compensation package was equivalent, officers usually stay unless they move out of the area.
Dorothy Kilgallen June 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I guess suing the town is the new retirement package.
Johnny Rivera June 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Hmm, maybe the next lawsuit is over no retirement benefits, I redact my last post, you may be on to something!
Bruce Knuckle June 24, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Lawsuits in general are out of control, however the PD is in big trouble and the crap pack just lets it roll on.Whats the expense to replace this officer? .... BTW, anyone see Captain sideshow lately?
MissS June 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
"a rich community"? We have no money, remember? That's why we had to lay off police in the first place and force people to take furlough days. We are lucky that with all the problems in town that our police still care about fair lawn and are still doing their best to protect us.
MissS June 24, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Knuckle, I think these arguments and name calling is getting a little childish. The "crap pack" has screwed up, but they will be leaving soon. Next year is 30yrs for the head honcho.
Dorothy Kilgallen June 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
do tell bruce. what do you hear? and what ever became of the discrimination claim by Taylor? Didn't he drop that because it wasn't true? or do we not want to talk about that brucie boy?
joe rizzo June 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Yes wealthy community compared to Paterson, also, the reason for the layoffs were personal, and had nothing to do with economics.
joe rizzo June 24, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Good Luck to Officer Rodriguez, family first!
Bruce Knuckle June 24, 2012 at 09:06 PM
MissS-The crap pack I am referring to is the clown act council. Sorry you were confused, although, it is understandable. The town is riddled with "crap packers"
Bruce Knuckle June 24, 2012 at 09:13 PM
@Dorothy, I think I made a statement saying lawsuits are out of control in general. I don't understand the hostility of your post.
Zak Koeske June 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM
@FairLawnisFinished - I spoke to the PBA on Friday, off the record, but essentially confirming the dilemma over the health care information that I reported. I've reached out for an official statement and am awaiting a response.
Zak Koeske June 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM
@Fairlawn - It depends how many years you've been working, when you started, your rank, etc.
IsmellaRatt June 25, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Dorothy you seem to have a vested interest and unyeilding access to information...... HMMMMMMM.....
Stuart Pace June 25, 2012 at 08:51 PM
If any of you would come out from hiding it would be a frickin miracle.
Bruce Knuckle June 26, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Stu, it would be a miracle if you ever picked a winner. Who appointed you Captain sideshows personal mouthpiece. ...Hey Zak, want me to write the story for you too? A sudden disappearance of one of the department heads might be a story.
Gabriel Francis June 26, 2012 at 08:53 PM
PBA local 67 gave up medical benefits after retirement during contract negotiations back in the 80s. Great decision!
Tom Tom, the piper's son July 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Has anyone checked with Paterson lately. Because they no longer have lifetime benefits. In fact, a detective friend of mine who has been with the department for 18 years was just notified that his "lifetime heath benefit" has been yanked. Methinks Officer Rodriguez got the fuzzy end of the lollipop on this decision.


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