WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- A Port Authority police veteran from West Milford who never let up on the job got a proper sendoff from colleagues after 35 years during final roll call at his Holland Tunnel post.
Lt. Joseph Macaluso began his career with Clifton police in 1978 before moving to the Port Authority two years later. His first assignments was at JFK International Airport.
"Joe Mac" worked his way up the ranks, beginning with a move to the Lincoln Tunnel, where he spent 18 years before he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to PATH, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said. He eventually was assigned to the Holland Tunnel Command.
Known as “Ironman,” Macaluso entertained motorists by providing assistance and directions in Spanish, French, Swahili and Chinese.
He also kept working.
Some of Macaluso's collars were serious -- others not so much.
A month ago, he stopped a Maryland driver near the tunnel who began hopping in place and waving his arms, telling the lieutenant he was "warming up" for his field sobriety test.
Last August, he stopped a Pennsylvania man who had a stolen CitiBike in his truck that he told Macaluso he used to commute to work.
"Somewhere beneath the camaraderie and ceremony of hs final roll call, there was a palpable feeling that an era was ending: a bittersweet undercurrent of emotion – part sadness mixed with hilarity – as old-school PA stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a younger brotherhood of blue, many of whom 'Joe Mac' trained and mentored and who are now detectives and supervisors," Pentangelo said.
The PAPD's superintendent, Chief Michael Fedorko, called Macaluso a “consummate leader, teacher, overall good guy and true leader.”