EMERSON, N.J. — Helping their neighbors and fellow citizens of Emerson has always come naturally to members of the Mazzeo family.
Anthony “Babe” Mazzeo was often summoned by the department through a payphone near the gas station he manned at the corner of Kinderkamack Road and Linwood Avenue in the 1940s. His son, Peter Mazzeo, served the Emerson Police Department for 39 years before retiring as chief in 2002.
Following in their footsteps, Michael Mazzeo was sworn in as a police captain Tuesday night in Borough Hall.
“The dedication of doing what’s right and helping the town be the best it can be is something that was instilled in me since I was little,” Mazzeo said. “And it’s something I’ll continue to offer.”
Mazzeo remained dedicated to becoming a well-rounded Emerson police officer as he rose through the ranks after becoming a patrolman in 1994. He's also been a D.A.R.E officer and juvenile detective, among other positions.
“I don’t believe in mediocrity,” Mazzeo told Daily Voice. “I believe in hard work paying off.”
Police Chief Donald Rossi has watched Mazzeo mature from “Peanut" to captain.
“To see a young man of his caliber with his motivation, with his dedication, is a breath of fresh air,” Rossi said.
“[Mazzeo] is not a ‘yes man’," the chief said. "He’s honest and has the utmost integrity. The character he emulates is what the Emerson Police Department stands for.
“He’s going to serve this department well.”