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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Woodcliff Lake Boy With Down Syndrome Becomes Police ‘Chief For A Day’

Woodcliff Lake Police Lt. Jimmy Uhl, “Chief for a Day” Matthew Falanga, and Woodcliff Lake Police Chief Anthony Jannicelli pose on the steps of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack.
Woodcliff Lake Police Lt. Jimmy Uhl, “Chief for a Day” Matthew Falanga, and Woodcliff Lake Police Chief Anthony Jannicelli pose on the steps of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. – Matthew Falanga is only 14, but he has already been named Woodcliff Lake’s police chief.

His favorite part of the job: the “police car,” and especially the siren, he told Daily Voice.

Falanga spent Friday as Woodcliff Lake’s Police “Chief for a Day.”

He was one of about two dozen children from throughout Bergen County – all with chronic health conditions or disabilities – serving as chiefs for their respective towns Friday.

*** RELATED: PALISADES PARK BOY RESCUED FROM OVERPECK CREAK IS 'CHIEF FOR A DAY' ***

Woodcliff Lake’s regular police chief, Anthony Jannicelli, told Daily Voice that he and Falanga went to the bagel shop and Falanga helped with payroll.

“It is not all fun and games, we have to get work done too,” he joked, while standing on the Bergen County Courthouse steps with Falanga and the other chiefs and chiefs for a day.

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