In 1932, Ridgefield elected a new Mayor, Emil Berger, who served one term (1932-1934). Ridgefield eventually increased the Mayoral term to four years. This is a letter that outgoing Mayor Clarence Davis wrote to each member of the police department.
Dec. 23, 1931
Mr. Walter W. Gallagher,
Member of the Police Department,
Borough of Ridgefield, N. J.
Dear Sergeant Gallagher:-
On January 1st I lay aside the responsibilities of your Mayor and Commander-in-Chief, and I desire in this personal letter to convey to you my appreciation of your cooperation and loyalty during my term of office.
While your Mayor, I expended a lot of energy and devoted considerable thought in behalf of the Police Department of the Borough of Ridgefield. All but four men on the force were appointed while I was Councilman or Mayor, and I personally had a hand in their selection and have a personal interest in each of you. While some of you may think I have been severe at times, my one interest has been to have each individual man do his full duty toward the citizens of the Borough of Ridgefield from whom you obtain your salary.
You have good jobs and an opportunity to grow in the service of the Borough if you conduct yourselves properly and keep out of politics. The Police Department can be a political foot ball, to be kicked around with changes of administration, or the police can perform their duties so well that all political parties will leave them alone. In the last year and nine months since the Department was reorganized, every effort has been made to keep you men out of politics. The future rests with you. Political affiliations and unnecessary gossip has been the cause of wrecking the careers of many good policemen.
You will soon have a complete new book of rules for your guidance, and I hope each one of you gentlemen will follow them absolutely and continue to develop as good policemen, having only in mind doing your full duty to the citizens of the Borough.
I again extend my personal thanks and at the same time I wish your good selves and families a Merry Christmas Season and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
[Clarence A. Davis]