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RED BANK’S LAST CONSTABLE DIES AT 99

people-in-the-news-7599792Saul Diamond, the last person to hold the position of Red Bank constable, died Sunday at his home at Riverview Towers, on Riverside Avenue.

He was 99 years old.

Diamond’s obituary in the Asbury Park Press says he served as borough constable from 1969 to 2000, when the post was abolished and its duties transferred to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office.

The job entailed serving subpoenas and other legal notices, imposing liens and collecting fines, said Mayor Pasquale Menna, who was Diamond’s neighbor at Riverview Towers for five years.

“He was extraordinarily witty, kind, and shrewd,” Menna told redbankgreen Monday.

Menna recalled that when the building they lived in converted from apartments to a cooperative, seniors were protected from eviction for 30 years.

“This is going to be my guarantee that I’ll live another 30 years,” Menna recalled Diamond saying at the time. “And he did. He outlived the protected tenant clause.”

Diamond also served on the town zoning board, a volunteer position, for some 30 years.

Menna said Diamond was a “colorful figure” who was especially proud of having been a Jew who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was deeply engaged in Jewish veterans’ affairs, Menna said.

The job of serving legal papers carried with it some possibility of danger. The only Red Bank police officer to die in the line of duty, in fact, was a constable who was shot while attempting to serve a warrant in 1899, according to a 2000 profile of Diamond in the Hub. It reported that Diamond, at just five-foot-three, didn’t shrink from potential conflict when serving papers.

“My job was to do a job,” he told reporter John Burton. “As little as I am… I used to be able to fight like a son-of-a-gun.”

Prior to his long stint as Red Bank constable, Diamond held the same position starting in 1958 in Hazlet and later in Little Silver, according to the Hub.

Diamond is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorothy; three children; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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