A Lyndhurst park that bears the name of a borough police officer who died in the line of duty was rededicated Monday – 72 years to the day that he was gunned down.
Lyndhurst Police Officer Thomas J. Albino, 41, was accompanying a constable serving an eviction notice on Clinton Terrace when a shotgun blast through the front door killed him in 1947.
The gunman, 57-year-old Charles Longboat, himself was killed during a gunfight with police.
"Regardless of the time that's passed since one of the darkest days in our community's history, the memory of Officer Albino and his sacrifice will continue to flourish through this park," Mayor Robert Giangeruso said during Monday’s ceremony.
Family members in attendance included Albino’s two grandchildren and some great-nieces and -nephews. A police honor guard and a bagpiper were also among those at the park at Orient Way and Valley Brook Avenue.
Police Sgt. Paul Haggerty coordinated the event, whose attendees also included Police Chief Richard L. Jarvis, Deputy Police Chief Patrick Devlin and Commissioners Thomas DiMaggio, Richard Jarvis, Sr. and John Montillo.
Plans for refurbishing Officer Thomas J. Albino Memorial Park began two years ago with members of the Lyndhurst Police Unity Tour and a subsequent grant.
The Sika Corporation of Lyndhurst, in conjunction with Lyndhurst Police Benevolent Association Local #202, donated a new sign that includes the department patch, the township shield and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial insignia.
Cambridge of Lyndhurst donated the materials for a flower box that houses the new sign.
“The park will always serve as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Officer Albino made serving our community and for the sacrifices all law enforcement officers make each and every time they put on the uniform and leave their loved ones behind,” Auteri said.
Albino and fellow Officer William Brady accompanied Charles Hill of the East Rutherford District Court to serve an eviction notice on Longboat, who’d lived in the house with his mother for five years without paying rent, Detective Sgt. Vincent Auteri recalled.
During a hearing brought by the property owner three weeks earlier, Longboat threatened to kill anyone who tried to evict him, Auteri said.
Albino, a nine-year department veteran, was the fourth – and most recent – Lyndhurst police officer killed in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife, Edith, and two children, Thomas “Tommy” Jr., who was 12 years old, and Joyce, who was 8.
Tommy was 79 when he died five years ago.
Joyce Cassidy, 80, still lives in Lyndhurst.
ALL PHOTOS: Courtesy LYNDHURST PD
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