Darren Dachisen started as a Madison police officer 21 years to the day before he was sworn in as the department's chief.
Dachisen's first day as a probationary officer was Jan. 28, 1992, and on Monday night he was sworn in as the department's 15th chief, effective Friday, after serving as acting chief since October.
Madison's governing body unanimously approved resolutions appointing Dachisen as chief and approving four other police promotions. Those officers—Joseph Cirella and Dennis Lam, who were promoted to lieutenant, and Sean Plumstead and Craig Perrelli, who were promoted to sergeant—also were sworn in during the meeting.
They also had filled those supervisory positions in an acting capacity since October.
The ceremony included a bagpiper and an overflow crowd of family, friends, Madison police officers, law enforcement officers from the county and other towns, state legislators and several retired Madison police chiefs.
Cirella, Lam, Plumstead and Perrelli were appointed to their new supervisory roles after Dachisen requested additional personnel to assist in the administrative operation of the department once he became acting chief in October. There were vacancies in senior officer positions after recent retirements.
John Trevena retired Aug. 1 after nearly 30 years in law enforcement and three years as Madison's chief, and Jerry Mantone served as acting chief from August to October before retiring after 34 years of service.
The promotions' effective date, Feb. 1, coincides with the end of Trevena's accrued sick and vacation time, keeping with the borough's policy of not having two police chiefs on the books at the same time.
Dachisen said being part of the Madison Police Department's 123-year history is humbling, and he is thankful for the opportunity to serve Madison and work with the department's members.
Dachisen said police work is in his blood and he is the fourth member of his family to serve as a police chief in Morris County. His father, Steven Dachisen, was police chief in Rockaway Township, and his uncle and cousin served as chiefs in Rockaway Borough. He was sworn in Monday by his brother, Michael Dachisen, who is mayor of Rockaway Township. His father held the Bible and his wife pinned his badge.
Dachisen was promoted to sergeant in 2002, and then lieutenant in 2007. He has attended West Point Leadership and Command School, FBI Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives, SWAT Command School, Northwestern University Law Enforcement Supervision and other training programs.
He also has served as deputy coordinator of Madison's Office of Emergency Management. His hobbies include weightlifting, old cars and motorcycles.