TRENTON – New Jersey’s law enforcement leaders gathered today at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton to unveil the state’s first permanent memorial honoring police officers and other law enforcement professionals who died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The memorial honors the twenty-eight law enforcement personnel who passed away from COVID-related complications, including nine employees of the Newark Police Department and nine state and county correctional officers. The memorial will remain in the ground floor atrium of the Hughes Justice Complex, which houses the Attorney General’s Office, the State Public Defender’s Office, and the New Jersey Supreme Court.

“Members of law enforcement selflessly put their lives on the line every day to protect New Jerseyans,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The loss of these twenty-eight individuals to COVID-19 is a tragedy, and we will always remember their service to our state and our communities. This Memorial is a fitting and solemn honor for these brave and courageous men and women.”

OAG Officers Covid Memorial Acting AG Andrew J. Bruck
Acting AG Andrew J. Bruck makes remarks at the memorial ceremony

“Today and every day, we honor the law enforcement professionals who gave their lives protecting New Jersey residents during this unprecedented crisis,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck, who presided over today’s event. “We will never forget their service to our State, and this memorial will ensure that future generations do not either.”

“When this pandemic started, New Jersey’s law enforcement, as with all first responders, did not have the option to work from home. Every day they went to their assignments knowing full well that a new and deadly reality was upon us.” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Those brave men and women who have sworn an oath to public service, never hesitated and answered that call because there were people who needed their help and they knew they could make a difference. Today is a day of recognition as we commemorate their ultimate sacrifice and commitment to duty, for which we will be forever grateful.”


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“Law enforcement officials selflessly dedicate their lives to the safety of others and our Correctional Police Officers are no different,” said Victoria L. Kuhn, New Jersey Department of Corrections Acting Commissioner. “We appreciate the partnership of the Office of the Attorney General and recognition of our officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the residents of the great state of New Jersey.”

“The men and women we remember here today went above and beyond in their acts of bravery during some of the darkest days our world has faced,” said John Zebrowski, President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. “These officers faced a danger never seen before on a scale never imagined. Their courage should never be forgotten.”

OAG Officers Covid Memorial placing flowers
Officers placing flowers during the memorial ceremony

“Our law enforcement officers were at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided critical emergency services as well as the ongoing protection of our state,” said Esther Suarez, President of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey and Hudson County Prosecutor. “While we mourn each of their loses, this memorial is a fitting and lasting tribute to the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice and died serving their communities during the pandemic. They will never be forgotten.”

“COVID-19 was unlike anything law enforcement ever had to deal with,” said Patrick Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association. “While most of the world learned to work virtually, we didn’t have that option. We had to cope with an unseen, untouchable enemy that could be brought home and even affect our loved ones. As we see today, our profession paid a terrible price.”

“Our heroes in law enforcement have continued to fight crime in the street, and while doing this over the past 18 months our heroes had to fight a new invisible force of COVID-19,” said Robert W. Fox, President of New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “We have lost several brave officers to the pandemic and we salute them for laying down their lives to protect the public they serve.”

“New Jersey’s first responders have answered the call to the pandemic response honorably and bravely,” said Wayne Blanchard, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. “Sadly, we have lost some of our brave men and women along the way. We are here today to remember and honor these men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving and protecting our great state against an unknown and deadly pandemic.”

“While this memorial holds the names of heroes who worked during the pandemic in some of the most dangerous conditions to keep our citizens safe, let us not forget that each and every day of their law enforcement careers they did a job that most won’t, and made sacrifices for the greater good of our citizens of New Jersey,” said Pete J. Stilianessis, President of the State Troopers Non-Commissioned Officers Association.

“It is important that we honor those who were lost during these tough times, but it is equally important to honor their survivors and provide them the resources they need to assist them in rebuilding their lives,” said Frank Serratore, President of the New Jersey State Troopers Superior Officers Association. “The New Jersey State Police Superior Officers Association will never forget those who were lost, or their survivors!”

During today’s ceremony, two of the State’s top law enforcement leaders – New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick J. Callahan and Division of Criminal Justice Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell – read the names of those honored by the memorial, and were joined at the event by family members of fallen officers.

OAG Officers Covid Memorial flowers
Flowers laid on the table to honor officers lost during the pandemic

Those recognized on the memorial are:

•Bernard Waddell, Sr.
Corporal
Hudson Cty. Corrections, EOW: 3/20/2020

•Tolbert Furr
Special Police Officer
Newark PD, EOW: 4/3/2020

•Nelson Perdomo
Correctional Police Officer
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, EOW: 4/9/2020

•Alterek Shaundel Patterson
Sergeant
Bedminster PD, EOW: 4/12/2020

•Francesco S. Scorpo
Police Officer
Paterson PD, EOW: 4/12/2020

•Daniel Francis
Criminal Intelligence Analyst
Newark PD, EOW: 4/13/2020

•Alex Ruperto
Detective
Union City PD, EOW: 4/16/2020

•Zeb Craig
Correctional Police Officer
Hudson Cty. Corrections, EOW: 4/19/2020

•Maria Gibbs
Sr. Correctional Police Officer
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, EOW: 4/21/2020

•Latasha Andrews
Security Guard
New Jersey State Police, EOW: 4/23/2020

•Gary Louis Walker
Patrolman
Bloomingdale PD, EOW: 4/24/2020

•Michael Connors
Police Officer
Newark PD, EOW: 4/30/2020

•Michael Clegg
Lieutenant
Newark PD, EOW: 5/10/2020

•Charles E. Roberts, III
Sergeant
Glen Ridge PD, EOW: 5/11/2020

•Lowery Ware
Inspector, Federal Protective Service
Dept. of Homeland Security, EOW: 7/23/2020

•Irving Callender
Detective
Newark PD, EOW: 8/22/2020

•Marcus Thomas
Detective
Newark PD, EOW: 9/28/2020

•Al’Mustafa Pearson
Correctional Police Officer
Essex Cty. Corrections, EOW: 10/06/2020

•Christopher Cronin
Police Officer
Old Bridge Twp. PD, EOW: 12/2/2020

•Erick Whitaker
Sr. Correctional Police Officer
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, EOW: 12/4/2020

•Vincent Butler
Correctional Police Officer
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, EOW: 12/29/2020

•Hector Moya
Police Officer
Newark PD, EOW: 1/13/2021

•Edward Jamandron
Sr. Correctional Police Officer
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections, EOW: 1/15/2021

•Luis Andujar
Corrections Officer
Cumberland Cty. Corrections, EOW: 1/22/2021

•Brian K. McAdams, Sr.
Detective
Newark PD, EOW: 1/22/2021

•Matthew D. Razukas
Lieutenant
New Jersey State Police, EOW: 7/27/2021

•Richard T. McKnight
Police Aide
Newark PD, EOW: 8/11/2021

•Gerard Eick
Agent
Ocean Cty. Prosecutor’s Office, EOW: 9/27/2021

A slide show with the pictures of the Fallen Officers played during the Memorial and is available for viewing here.


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