VIDEO: First Father- Son Duo to Serve as Chiefs of Police at Same Time in New Jersey

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WOOLWICH TWP - Russell Marino was appointed the position of Chief of Police in Woolwich Township back in 1997.
His son, Vernon Marino, just recently became the Chief of Police at the Paulsboro Police Department, making the pair the very first father son duo to serve as chiefs of police at the very same time in the history of the State of New Jersey.
Ironically, the father of the duo started his career back in 1977 as an officer at the Woolwich Township Police Department, the same place he’ll end his career later this week.
“My first day on the job, uh, was chaotic to put it mildly,” said Chief Russell Marino.
His son's first day was different, according to the new Paulsboro Chief of Police. “My first day was a little less chaotic than my father,” he said.
The elder Marino will retire come January 1, 2016 after nearly 20 years serving as the police chief in Woolrich Township, Gloucester County.
“It’s bittersweet," said Russell Marino. "The community gave me the opportunity, which I never thought I’d be chief of police here when I started out as a specials officer. Ending here, I feel accomplished.”
In his 19 years as chief, the police department in the township has grown from five patrolmen to 20 full-time and seven part-time officers. Russel Marino says in that time he’s helped change several things to better the department. But what he’ll miss most is deeper than all of that.
“I think the camaraderie with my officers,” said Russell Marino. "We’ve formed a pretty close family as far as I’m concerned. We shared the good times and bad times.”
But watching his son become the Chief of Police in Paulsboro is something he won’t forget.
“Proudest moment of my life,” said Russell Marino. "It’s been a great honor and it’s something that’ll last forever. It’ll stay in our family forever and we can pass it down.”
“My father did it, I did it and I think it’s something for my kids to look up to and hopefully to someday do," said Vernon Marino. "I have three boys. If one of them wanted to be a police officer, hopefully they achieve or want to achieve the same goals."
The father had some last words of wisdom for his son and those who will serve after him.
“Keep a level head, think before you act and just be safe. Continue to keep your men safe,” said Russell Marino.
After his last day as chief on January 1, Russell Marino says he plans to relax and enjoy his retirement.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey, that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.