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Oradell PBA Honors Former Councilman, Police Advocate

James Koth III with Oradell PBA Local 206 members
James Koth III with Oradell PBA Local 206 members Photo Credit: COURTESY: Oradell PBA Local 206

ORADELL, N.J. -- Members of Oradell PBA Local 206 on Tuesday night gave ex-Councilman James Koth III, a former borough police commissioner, a plaque for his service.

A licensed landscape architect and volunteer firefighter who also was once Englewood's public works director, Koth served as councilman from January 2010 through September of this year.

He was police commissioner from January 2011 through the end of last year.

A Republican, he chose not to seek re-election this year and was later appointed by Bergen County Executive James Tedesco to be the county parks and recreation director, beginning in July.

Koth was staunch opposed to a proposal to hire a civilian police director for the Oradell police force earlier this year after former Chief Frank Florio announced his retirement.

The proposal felt rushed, he said. It ignored the ability of eligible department officers to lead and would put a civilian whose powers are limited by law in command, Koth argued.

Should there be an emergency, he told the audience, "the director's going to be on the side of the tape with me, you and everybody else -- not on the side of the tape with the police department directing the scene."

Three other council members joined him in rejecting a move to introduce the measure during a February meeting that drew dozens of residents, chiefs from other towns and officers.

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