Teaneck Detective Ed Kazmierczak has driven down Cedar Lane dozens of times since joining the township’s police department 16 years ago.
Friday night, he took his patrol car for one last spin.
Affectionately known as “Kaz,” the longtime detective is looking forward to working with other municipalities when he joins the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office on Monday -- although he’ll miss the place he’s long called home.
“You could drop me off blindfolded in the middle of any street -- and some of them are puzzles. But I’ve been here so long I could walk right out,” said Kazmierczak Friday afternoon as he cleared out his desk.
“I know this town like the back of my hand. There’s a good sense of community here.”
Since the day Kazmierczak became a Teaneck patrolman in July 2002, community outreach has been a top priority.
“I made it a point to make small talk with families,” he said. “I wanted to make myself and police in town more approachable.”
Kazmierczak worked in nearly every unit in the agency, including juvenile, gang, drugs/anticrime and burglary, before becoming a detective 11 years ago.
The Crime Stoppers organization has helped him foster countless relationships with business owners. He rarely missed a Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Perhaps the detective's most notable quality, though, is his desire to give back.
Kazmierczak was a driving force behind several costume parties for pediatric cancer patients in Teaneck and surrounding towns, having each raised between $2,000 and $4,000, respectively.
With new condominiums and hotels going up, Kazmierczak says he’ll miss watching the town grow.
“There’s more hustle and bustle, but I think we’ve always been like that,” he said. “When I come back in a year, the whole face of the town will look different."
He'll miss the regular interaction with his colleagues -- whom he described as some of the most professional he's ever met -- as well as starting some days with breakfast at Tony's Deli and finishing others with ice cream at Bischoff's.
No matter what, he said: “Teaneck is always going to be home.”
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