Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amphibious Again

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amphibious Again

Article excerpt

After years without a boat, officers of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department have returned to the Hudson River and are patrolling the waters and the coastline in four boats.

The department now has two 18-foot Boston Whalers and two 25- foot SeaArks, which have been named for the two officers who were the first in the department to die in the line of duty, Capt. John George Jordan and Sgt. Patrick Quinn. The used boats were given to them by the state police.

"It's a piece of the department that's been missing," Chief Michael Coppola said. "We have almost 13 1/2 miles of shoreline that we can't access without a boat."

On Thursday, Jordan's and Quinn's descendants, including a great- great-granddaughter, boarded the boats for a ride to the George Washington Bridge.

"It was so many years ago, we never really had any formal connection," Oradell resident Anne Quinn Sullivan said of her grandfather, who died after he was hit by a motorcycle in 1933. "We just knew there was sadness."

Sullivan called the outing a "wonderful way" to honor Quinn, as well as other deceased members of his family -- including his namesake, who was killed in a 1976 Air Force plane crash in Greenland.

"I'm very proud that they would even think of doing something like this," added Clifton resident John Jordan, whose grandfather was the department's first boat captain and died in 1915 when he slipped on an icy path and fell down the Palisades. The grandson brought a photo of Jordan aboard the unit's first boat, the Interstate, with him on Thursday.

Founded in 1908, the department, then known as the Interstate Park Police, was responsible for policing the land and water along the Palisades. The department had a boat unit tasked with patrolling the river regularly, as well as responding to emergencies, through the 1970s. Between the '70s and 2004, the boats stopped doing patrol work and only hit the water for rescues. …

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