In his 24 years as a officer – 23 of them in Fair Lawn – Detective Tony Ferreira has seen and done it all.
During his days as a patrolman, Ferreira was involved in standoffs and car chases, caught burglars and arrested murderers. Over the last decade-plus in the detective bureau, he’s handled firearms, property and evidence.
Next Tuesday, Ferreira will begin a new phase in his career when he’s promoted to detective sergeant, a supervisory position within the bureau.
“I’ve known Tony for a very long time," said borough manager Tom Metzler, who worked with Ferreira back when he was with the department. "I’m happy for any officer who achieves a milestone in their career.”
For Ferreira, 45, the promotion is a long time coming.
“It’s another step in your career,” he said. “Before I retired, I wanted to be a supervisor.”
Ferreira was born in Fair Lawn into a police family. His grandfather, uncle and cousin were all officers in Teaneck. He grew up always wanting to follow in their footsteps.
After graduating from in 1984, Ferreira spent a year studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at a college in New York state, but gave it up to move back home and pursue a Criminal Justice degree at Bergen Community College.
“I changed my mind when my uncle passed away, “ said Ferreira, whose uncle had been a detective in Teaneck. “I just felt like following in his footsteps. We were close.”
Ferreira first worked as a dispatcher in Midland Park for two years before taking his first job as an officer at the Franklin Lakes Police Department in 1988. In 1989, he was hired as an officer in Fair Lawn, where he’s been ever since – first as a patrolman and currently as a detective.
“I enjoy doing both,” he said. “I enjoy being on the road and I enjoy being downstairs [in the detective bureau].”
Ferreira said that over time his approach to the job has never wavered.
“You still got to take it like everything’s new,” he said. “You don’t know what to expect. Anything can happen at any time. You can’t be laid back, you always have to be on your toes.”
Ferreira and his wife, Kerry, have three children – a daughter and two sons. His eldest son, Anthony, Jr., a Montclair State graduate with a criminal justice degree, is following in his father's crime-fighting footsteps.
As the elder Ferreira winds down his career and reflects back on his years on the force, he said it seems like they've just flown by.
"Time goes fast," he said. "It feels like yesterday I was in the academy."