N.J. sheriff fatally shoots himself in restaurant

January 26, 2024by Naomi Cramer


Editor’s Word: Suicide is all the time preventable. If you’re having ideas of suicide or feeling suicidal, please name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline instantly at 988. Counselors are additionally accessible to talk at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Bear in mind: You should be supported, and it’s by no means too late to hunt assist. Converse with somebody in the present day.

By Chris Sheldon and Richard Cowen
nj.com

CLIFTON, N.J. — Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik fatally shot himself Tuesday afternoon inside a Clifton restaurant, a number of sources and officers confirmed.

The incident occurred Toros Restaurant, a Turkish restaurant on Hazel Avenue, they stated.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Workplace is investigating the taking pictures however didn’t reply to requests for remark, nor did the Passaic County Sheriff’s Workplace or native police.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh stated he was at Metropolis Corridor when he heard information, then raced over to Toros, the place the swarms of law enforcement officials and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Workplace was on the scene. Sayegh stated he was with Berdnik at Metropolis Corridor on Monday, at a swearing-in ceremony for eight Paterson law enforcement officials.

“My final phrases to Sheriff Berdnik had been, ‘Hey, get within the image,’” Sayegh recalled.

Sayegh stated he was keen on Berdnik, who would dispatch his sheriff’s officers when town wanted assist.

“I affectionately referred to as Sheriff Berdnik ‘America’s Sheriff,’” Sayegh stated. “He was an exemplary legislation enforcement chief and a cherished good friend. Whether or not it was the pandemic or the latest floods, Sheriff Berdnik was all the time accessible to supply help.”

Sayegh had earlier within the day offered a key to town to the proprietor of Toros, Huseyin Bayram. The restaurant, which additionally has a location in Paterson and one other in Montclair, was honored for donating 10,000 meals to hospital employees in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Passaic County Commissioner Bruce James stated the commissioners had been set to fulfill at 5:30 p.m. once they bought phrase that Sheriff Berdnik had died by suicide.

Texts appeared on commissioners’ telephones that Berdnik was lifeless of an obvious suicide, he instructed NJ Advance Media.

“Proper earlier than the assembly the telephones blew up, and there have been reviews that the sheriff had killed himself,” James stated.

James stated commissioners had been in shock over the information, and the assembly was subsequently cancelled.

John Bartlett, the director of the Passaic County Board of Commissioners, stated everybody was “shocked and devastated” by the information.

“Wealthy was an exemplary legislation enforcement officer and an ideal accomplice to the Board of County Commissioners ,” Bartlett stated. “Our prayers are along with his spouse Monica, their children and grandchildren, and with the Sheriff’s colleagues and buddies in grief.”

Somebody on the restaurant answered the telephone Tuesday night and stated it was closed.

The information of his loss of life rang throughout the state.

Gov. Phil Murphy stated he was “deeply saddened” to study of his loss of life.

“Tammy and I had been blessed to have counted Sheriff Berdnik as an in depth good friend,” Murphy stated in an announcement. “We are going to miss him — and his management — dearly.”

The governor’s workplace additionally urged legislation enforcement officers fighting psychological well being or suicidal ideas to hunt assist.

Ringwood Borough Deputy Mayor Jaime Landis despatched her condolences to Berdnik’s family.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts to listen to concerning the passing of Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik,” she wrote on Fb. “I had the consideration of being in his firm on some cases and he was type, skilled and revered.”

U.S. Rep. Invoice Pascrell Jr., D-Ninth Dist., stated he was shocked to study of the sheriff’s loss of life.

“I’m nonetheless processing this and ready to study extra particulars,” Pascrell stated. “I’m considering and praying for his household and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Division. I can not consider this proper now.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D- N.J., additionally despatched his condolences to the household, buddies and colleagues of Berdnik.

“Sheriff Berdnik was a longtime public servant with a distinguished profession in legislation enforcement who rose to develop into sheriff of his house county,” Booker stated. “He leaves behind a legacy of sacrifice and repair. His passing is a horrible loss to the county and state he served for therefore a few years. My ideas are along with his family members on this time of grief.”

Berdnik’s loss of life comes every week after three Passaic County jail officers had been charged with beating an inmate who they stated threw urine on their coworker, in response to expenses filed by the U.S. Justice Division.

Berdnik final week additionally issued a memo that he could be shedding 29 sheriff’s officers because of the shutdown of that very same jail, in response to a report by NorthJersey.com

“I’m nicely conscious that there’s a lot confusion and stress throughout this very troublesome time in our company,” Berdnik’s memo learn, in response to the report. “I’ve executed all the pieces in my energy to seek out employment for all affected workers however sadly, we should transfer ahead to put off 29 correctional law enforcement officials right now.”

Berdnik, a Democrat, was sworn in because the forty ninth sheriff of Passaic County in 2011 and was elected to a fifth time period in 2022, in response to his bio on the Passaic County Sheriff’s Workplace website.

Previous to changing into sheriff, Berdnik had a 28-year profession with the Clifton Police Division and upon retirement, he was the Commander of the Juvenile Division and the SWAT Crew and beforehand had served in practically each place within the company.

He’s a graduate of Clifton Excessive College, Auckland State Police Academy, FBI Nationwide Academy and FBI Nationwide Govt Institute and was married with 4 grownup children.

Editor’s Word: NJ Advance Media usually limits reporting on suicides to people who happen in crowded public locations, contain public figures or, in particular circumstances, the place there’s a bigger public influence. Suicidal ideas and behaviors might be diminished with the right psychological well being help and remedy. If you’re in disaster, please name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or contact the Disaster Textual content Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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©2024 Advance Native Media LLC. Go to nj.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.



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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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