North Bergen Police Captain Gerald Sanzari is probably the most friendly person you would ever want to meet, and at the same time, true to his profession, a true cop. Born in Weehawken and raised in North Bergen, Captain Sanzari is a graduate of North Bergen High School in 1980 and New Jersey City University in 1984, with a bachelor’s degree in communications arts and English. Before entering the police force, he went to work in sales in New York City. However, his older brother Neil, a retired North Bergen policeman, mentored him into going into police work, and in 1990 he graduated from the Bergen County Police Academy and became a policeman that same year. It was within this brother-mentoring period that he caught the “fever” as they say, to become a policeman, and he never looked back.
Married to his lovely wife Nelia, who is from West New York, they have two daughters named Nicole and Amanda. Captain Sanzari also has a sister, Susan, and two other brothers, Arthur, who lives in Bergen County like his sister, and Sylvester, who is a retired North Bergen School teacher and children’s book author. A fourth brother John is deceased. His father John, Sr., is 87 years old and lives in North Bergen, and his loving mother, Marie is deceased. Captain Sanzari tells us that after 11 years he was promoted to sergeant in 2001, to lieutenant in 2005, and to his present rank of captain in 2007, after passing all state exams.
During his climb to his present rank, he was also trained as a DARE officer and worked in the elementary schools instructing the DARE procedures and program beginning in 1994. As captain in 2007, he was assigned as Patrol Division commander, in charge of overseeing over 65 police personnel and sergeants, and lieutenants assigned to the Patrol Division. Presently, he is assigned to day tour in charge of special projects. Captain Sanzari is also tri-lingual, fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish, and is also currently learning the Portuguese language. He is also a certified Jersey City Police Academy instructor. Philosophical in nature, he loves to read daily newspapers, magazines, periodicals, watch news on TV, and listen to radio news in regards to local, regional, national, and international news in the making.
He lauds his wife, who was born in Cuba, and has worked as a paralegal in Manhattan for 24 years. She is 1986 a graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in political science and paralegal studies.
As a member of the police force for 21 years, Captain Sanzari tells us that he enjoys going to special meetings with his police chief because he learns new law enforcement ideas, which he passes on to the younger officers, and loves to keep up morale among them on their way up in their professional climb. He also credits Captain Robert Dowd for being his educational mentor in the study of police law in his own climb to becoming a captain.
In leisure time, Captain Sanzari raises money for the Special Olympics-N.J., and within the community he likes to fill in the cultural gaps between populations of various cultures in North Bergen as he truly believes that understanding each other makes for a more peaceful society. He also likes to cook Italian and Cuban dishes, and barbecue for family and friends during the summer months. He is also a member of the Italian-American Police Society of N.J., Fraternal Order of Police 46, National Police Defense Foundation, and the State PBA 13.
His daughter Nicole won scholarships from the FOP and the NPDF. Captain Sanzari tells us that he works out at the gym and is a fan of all New York-based professional sporting teams, and those are his hobbies too, sports and the internet. Professionally, he has received Police Merit Awards for saving lives over his police career. As for music, he likes 1960s music and Italian and Spanish music. Captain Dowd tells us that Captain Sanzari is a great friend, and professional associate, who is like family on the job to everyone in need, and is highly commendable in character. Police Chief William Galvin said that Captain Sanzari always puts people’s feelings before himself, is great for the department, is fair-minded, and great for back-up, and is to be commended for his great team-work. Chief Galvin was so proud of Captain Sanzari that he basically was saying that he was the “glue” of the department! That seems to be so, as Captain Sanzari proudly mentions his participating with Chief Galvin and Captain Dowd in their Transforming Management projects and their match to State Police Chief’s Association accreditation as an accredited agency recognized by their association for true professionalism! Chief Calvin, Captain Dowd, and Captain Gerald Sanzari —All the best!
Rev. James Whelan, pastor of Saint Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Weehawken, tell us that he celebrated his third year with the parish this past March, 2010. Congratulations Father Whelan!
Guttenberg attorney-at-law Maria Gesualdi is also the attorney for the Town Planning and Zoning Board, and gets high marks from its Chairman, Guttenberg’s athletic living legend, Brian Guaschino. Way to go, Ms. Gesualdi!
Mauricio Espinoza of Union City was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at Kean University in Essex County. Best wishes to you!
Lauren M. DiLieto of West New York has achieved a master’s degree in Interactive Communications from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Congrats to you, Ms. DiLieto!
Erika Muller of Secaucus, scion of the Muller Insurance Company of Hoboken, is hitting the disks with her brother Roger at local hockey events, and we hear she is the better hockey player. Little Sis beats Big Bro, and away we go!
And so it goes… until next time… see you around town… MATT.
Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items and photographs, along with your name, address, and telephone number to Matthew Amato, Columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. THANK YOU!