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Citywide support convinced Mordaga to become Hackensack police director

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

EXCLUSIVE (ONLY ON CVP) : New Hackensack Police Director Mike Mordaga had few reservations about applying for the job — not after being contacted by, among others, the department PBA, business owners and clergy once the City Council created the position last fall.

“For me, this is not a job,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT shortly after his appointment was announced.

“This is returning to the Hackensack police department, which was my passion, where my career was, and to the city, so that I can work with the department and the residents and the businesspeople, as a team, to bring pride back to the department and restore the faith of its citizens.”

Although others applied for the civilian post, the veteran lawman not only had the most sparkling resume: Support came from where it counted.

“I met with the executive board of the PBA and I received a great deal of support,” Mordaga said. “That meant a lot. So did the outreach from clergy, business owners and others.

“I knew this would be an opportunity not just for me but for both the department and the city.”

His goals, Mordaga repeated, are simple — continuing the job of bringing pride back to the 114-member department and restoring the faith of residents and merchants throughout Hackensack in their police.

He’s already had discussions toward that end with union leaders and police brass. “His work ethic and reputation speaks for itself,” said John Herrmann, president of PBA Local #9.

Mordaga also has a strong connection to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, for whom he served as chief of detectives.

He is also highly regarded by city officials — not to mention law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others in crime and justice throughout and beyond Bergen County. He’s been connecting to police and prosecutors in other counties, while strengthening bonds with former colleagues.

The most exciting part, through, will be reaching out to Hackensack citizens, the backbone of the county seat.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Mordaga told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “It feels right.”

RELATED: It’s official: Mordaga is Hackensack’s 1st police director

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