New Jersey's Governor Mourns The Death Of A Sheriff Who Had 40 Years In Law Enforcement

Police and first responders arrive at Toros restaurant on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 in Clifton, N.J.  Richard Berdnik, a New Jersey sheriff who was in law enforcement for more than 40 years has died, but details of his death have not been officially revealed. (Anne-Marie Caruso/The Record via AP)
Police and first responders arrive at Toros restaurant on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 in Clifton, N.J. Richard Berdnik, a New Jersey sheriff who was in law enforcement for more than 40 years has died, but details of his death have not been officially revealed. (Anne-Marie Caruso/The Record via AP)
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TRENTON ,N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey sheriff who was in law enforcement for more than 40 years has died, but details of his death have not been officially revealed.

Richard Berdnik, who served as Passaic County’s sheriff since 2014 and worked as a Clifton police officer before that, died on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy's office said in an emailed statement.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik. For more than four decades, Sheriff Berdnik courageously served the people of New Jersey,” Murphy said.

Various news outlets reported that Berdnik died in a restaurant in Clifton, New Jersey. News video taken from outside the restaurant showed more than half a dozen police vehicles and police tape blocking the eatery's parking lot.

His death shocked officials who had known him for years.

“I am still processing this and waiting to learn more details,” Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said in an emailed statement. "I cannot believe this right now.”

The Passaic County prosecutor’s office also confirmed Berdnik’s death, but didn’t release any details. An investigation is underway, according to an emailed statement.

Berdnik’s office recently announced it would have to lay off more than two dozen officers because of the closure of a jail in the county, NorthJersey.com reported.

Berdnik was married and had four adult children.