BOUND BROOK — An officer who spent nearly four decades with the borough police department has been sworn in as acting police chief.

Richard S. Colombaroni, who joined the service as a dispatcher in May 1983 and became a patrolman in December 1983, was named acting chief by the borough council on Tuesday.

“He’s a great person,” Mayor Bob Fazen said, praising Colombaroni for his work coordinating the 31 fire departments that responded to the borough in January 2020 for a fire at two buildings under construction on West Main. Street.

Without Colombaroni’s leadership, the mayor said, the fire, fanned by high winds, would have spread to even more residential properties.

Borough officials would not comment on the status of Chief Vito Bet, who became department head in 2017. Bet joined the department in 1998.

As his wife watches, Richard Colombaroni is sworn in as acting police chief by Bound Brook Mayor Bob Fazen.

A Bound Brook native and longtime resident, Colombaroni served as the Bound Brook Fire Department Chief in 1999-2000. A third-generation volunteer firefighter from Bound Brook, his father also served as a fire chief.

Colombaroni graduated from the New Jersey State Police Academy in Sea Girt as a member of its 180th municipal class.

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In 1993, he was promoted to detective and assigned to the Bound Brook Police Detective Bureau as a juvenile constable. His detective duties consisted of investigating juvenile and adult cases. He also served as the department’s second DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer.

In 1998, Colombaroni was promoted to sergeant and put in charge of supervising a patrol squad.

In December 2015, he was promoted to lieutenant and named in charge of the department’s first attempt at credentialing certification from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. An on-site assessment was successfully completed in December 2016 and the department officially received its NJSACOP accreditation certificate in March 2017.

From 2018 to 2021, Colombaroni oversaw the Detective Bureau and was responsible for overseeing all major criminal investigations in the borough.

Colombaroni has received numerous awards and honors for his service to the Bound Brook Police and Fire Department, including the 200 Club of Somerset County Valor Award, Veterans of Foreign Wars Valor Award, and Chapel of the Four Chaplains Award.

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Mike Deak is a reporter for To get unlimited access to her articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.