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Paramus Police Officer Vincent M. Brock remembered 20 years after death

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

SALUTE: Twenty years ago today, Paramus Police Officer Vincent M. Brock was killed in a car crash responding to a bogus 911 call of a shooting at the Garden State Plaza.

Today, flags at Paramus Police headquarters are at half-mast in honor of Brock, who wore badge number #326.

“His dedication to the Department, compassion for people, his bravery and his sense of humor, will not be forgotten,” the department said in a statement. “We will never forget the ultimate sacrifices made in the line of duty by all police officer’s across this nation — in particular Vinny’s sacrifice on November 22, 1993.”

“Vinny was a good man, [a] good cop and a good friend,” said retired Paramus Officer John Campione.

“I remember when I met him back in the mid 70’s he played bass guitar, good musician,” Campione wrote. “He along with other local talent inspired me to play drums.”

He added:

“We continued our friendship right through that time and through the time I began working along side him in the late 80’s in law enforcement. Several weeks before his passing he asked me if I wanted to start up a band and do some gigs in our off-duty time.

“It was [a] pleasure jamming with him as much as it was working along side him out on the road. He was gentleman and a kind hearted person.”

Brock, a 12-year department veteran, was killed when his patrol car struck a utility pole on Route 4 while responding to a call placed with a stolen cellphone.

“Glad I was part of the team at AT&T who worked with Paramus & NYPD to nail the phony caller,” an AT&T employee wrote. “We did a lot of creative tracking, and in turn we were all glad to help bring justice to this matter.”

The man who placed the call was sentenced to five years in state prison and an accomplice 18 months in connection with Brock’s death.

A subsequent investigation found that the Crown Victoria police cruiser had a defect in the power-steering.

The 1973 Paramus High School graduate left behind his wife, Diane, and three children: Timothy, Gregory and Lindsay.

The Vincent M. Brock Communications Center — responsible for answering all calls for Paramus, as well as 911 calls for East Rutherford, Hillsdale, Midland Park, Old Tappan, Palisades Park, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Tenafly, and Wyckoff — is named for him.

In addition to direct radio communication with each mall, the center has live monitoring capability of several hundred security cameras positioned throughout the Westfield Garden State Plaza and the Bergen Town Center.

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