Mustafa Rabboh, Bergen County's First Muslim Police Chief, is Sworn in
SOURCE: NORTH JERSEY
BY: RICARDO KAULESSAR
BERGENFIELD — Mustafa Rabboh is now the new police chief for Bergenfield after being sworn in during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Rabboh, 46, is the second Muslim police chief in the state, with the first being Ahmed Naga of Long Hill Township, who was in attendance at Rabboh’s swearing in. He is also the first Muslim police chief in Bergen County.
In the packed Borough Council chambers, Rabboh took an oath to become chief as his wife and kids, colleagues, relatives and friends, and Muslims from police departments including Clifton and New York City, looked on.
Rabboh was sworn in by his childhood friend John Abdelhadi, the chief judge for the Paterson Municipal Court, with a copy of the Quran. Rabboh’s brother, Mahmoud, who serves in the Paterson Police Department, where Rabboh started his police career in 2001, pinned the chief’s badge on his younger brother before giving him a bear hug.
Rabboh then addressed the audience, expressing gratitude to everyone from his wife, Eva, and his three sons Aiden, Ameer and Adam to his Bergenfield police colleagues and municipal officials who voted for his appointment.
Rabboh and his colleague Deputy Chief Christopher Massey were interviewed for the job by council members in a closed-door session on Aug. 6. Rabboh replaces his former superior, Cathy Madalone, who was Bergen County’s first female police chief when named in 2015 and was chief until she stepped down in May.
“I’m humbled beyond words for the support that I have received. I would like to start by thanking the mayor and council members for their support and having the confidence in me to lead the department,” Rabboh said.
A number of local, county and state dignitaries were present to witness the landmark moment.
One of them was New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, the first Sikh attorney general in United States history.
Grewal lauded the appointment of Rabboh for setting an example nationwide at a time of rising anti-Muslim sentiment and rhetoric in this country.
“Tonight, here in Bergenfield, we’re showing the rest of the country that despite all the hate, despite all the rhetoric, despite all the negativity we might see in the news, the American dream is alive and well here in Bergenfield tonight.”