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Frank Furbacher

At helm for last 11 of 36 years on force

Frank Furbacher, a former South Hackensack police chief and a member of a family of first responders, has died. He was 86.

Mr. Furbacher served on his hometown force for 36 years, the last 11 at the helm. His tenure as chief, from 1975 to 1986, partially overlapped with that of his older brother, George, who led the West Paterson cq force. Their father was a South Hackensack fire chief in the 1930s.

Frank Furbacher joined the Police Department after a Navy hitch in World War II and a stint driving a truck. Until he moved to Hillsdale in 1972, he served simultaneously as a South Hackensack volunteer firefighter.

Mr. Furbacher was on police duty at the time of one of Bergen County's most heinous crimes: the Aug. 26, 1963, execution-style killings of two Lodi policemen, Peter Voto and Gary Tedesco, at a Route 46 lounge close to the South Hackensack border.

"I remember my father saying the whole county was on alert for the suspects heading to the George Washington Bridge," said Mr. Furbacher's son Steven, a South Hackensack police lieutenant. One assailant was killed by the New York City police and the other, Thomas Trantino, turned himself in. He was convicted of murder and spent 38 years in prison before being paroled in 2002.

Steven Furbacher served under his father.

"He was very military-oriented and a stern chief," Lt. Lieutenant Furbacher said. "If something wasn't done the right way, he would let you know and you would get the point."

Mr. Furbacher died Jan. 9 in Rotonda, cq Fla. He is survived by his children, Donna Bologna of Northvale, Frank of Rochelle Park, Steven of Washington Township and Keith of Emerson; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his former wife, Mary Furbacher of South Hackensack. His brother, the former West Paterson chief, died in 2010.

Email: levin@northjersey.com
Published in The Record on Feb. 16, 2013
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