YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: After five years as River Vale’s top cop — and exactly 25 years in law enforcement — Police Chief Michael McCann filed for retirement last week, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
McCann, who began his policing career in Haworth, transferred to River Vale in 1994 as a patrolman. A year later, he was assigned to the Detective Bureau –and in 1998 he became a detective sergeant.
Promoted to lieutenant in 2001, McCann was assigned to command the operations division. Six years later, he was promoted to captain and named the department’s chief executive officer.
On Jan. 1, 2009, he officially became chief.
McCann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Criminal Justice Education.
Three years ago, he attended and graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy. McCann also is an appointed member of the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute Police Training Advisory Board, with which he has served since 2007.
In an exclusive interview with CLIFFVIEW PILOT, McCann confirmed his retirement, reflected on his tenure and expressed the hope that he was the best officer he could be.
CVP: Your last official day is Oct. 31, yet you put in for retirement last week. Why?
McCANN: I wanted to give the township plenty of time to work on my exit strategy, as well as make certain that the transition for whoever takes over is as smooth as possible.
CVP: That’s very considerate.
McCANN: I have been blessed to work in such a great community — everyone from the police department, the elected officials, the DPW, Board of Education, and all of the Town Hall employees, especially [Borough] Administrator Gennaro Rotella. They have been incredible to me.
Mayor Blundo five years ago entrusted me with leading the department. I truly hope I did not disappoint.
CVP: What do you consider your biggest accomplishments?
McCANN: We have made major upgrades in our communications, including our 911 operations, along with deploying vital life-saving equipment to my officers.
Training has been a focus — to make certain that the River Vale Police Department can continue to provide for the residents in the most professional manner possible.
I honestly think the men and women of the River Vale Police Department are among the very best in Bergen County, and I personally have been proud of their sacrifices and their preparation to handle any situation that they are confronted with.
CVP: So what’s next for you?
McCANN: This has been a family plan — to retire after 25 years. Although I am not prepared to make public what I will do in the next chapter, there is a plan and it is in my best interest to pursue that next career.
I feel I am retiring on a high note, where I am retiring on my terms. I honestly feel I did my best.