TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey’s law enforcement leaders gathered Oct. 13 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.
Glen Ridge Police Sgt. Charles E. Roberts III is among those honored on the memorial, which honors the 28 law enforcement personnel who died 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,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “The loss of these 28 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.”
“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 the memorial’s unveiling. “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 Col. 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.”
“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.”
During the Oct. 13 ceremony, two of the state’s top law enforcement leaders — 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.
Those recognized on the memorial are:
- Hudson County Corrections Cpl. Bernard Waddell Sr., whose watch ended March 20, 2020.
- Newark Police Officer Tolbert Furr, whose watch ended April 3, 2020.
- N.J. Department of Corrections Officer Nelson Perdomo, whose watch ended April 9, 2020.
- Bedminster Police Sgt. Alterek Shaundel Patterson, whose watch ended April 12, 2020.
- Paterson Police Officer Francesco S. Scorpo, whose watch ended April 12, 2020.
- Newark Police criminal intelligence analyst Daniel Francis, whose watch ended April 13, 2020.
- Union City Police Detective Alex Ruperto, whose watch ended April 16, 2020.
- Hudson County Corrections Officer Zeb Craig, whose watch ended April 19, 2020.
- N.J. Department of Corrections Sr. Officer Maria Gibbs, whose watch ended April 21, 2020.
- NJSP security guard Latasha Andrews, whose watch ended April 23, 2020.
- Bloomingdale Police Patrol Officer Gary Louis Walker, whose watch ended April 24, 2020.
- Newark Police Officer Michael Connors, whose watch ended April 30, 2020.
- Newark Police Lt. Michael Clegg, whose watch ended May 10, 2020.
- Glen Ridge Police Sgt. Charles E. Roberts III, whose watch ended May 11, 2020.
- Department of Homeland Security Inspector Lowery Ware, whose watch ended July 23, 2020.
- Newark Police Detective Irving Callender, whose watch ended Aug. 22, 2020.
- Newark Police Detective Marcus Thomas, whose watch ended Sept. 28, 2020.
- Essex County Correction Officer Al’Mustafa Pearson, whose watch ended Oct. 6, 2020.
- Old Bridge Police Officer Christopher Cronin, whose watch ended Dec. 2, 2020.
- N.J. Department of Corrections Sr. Officer Erick Whitaker, whose watch ended Dec. 4, 2020.
- N.J. Department of Corrections Officer Vincent Butler, whose watch ended Dec. 29, 2020.
- Newark Police Officer Hector Moya, whose watch ended Jan. 13, 2021.
- N.J. Department of Corrections Sr. Officer Edward Jamandron, whose watch ended Jan. 15, 2021.
- Cumberland County Corrections Officer Luis Andujar, whose watch ended Jan. 22, 2021.
- Newark Police Detective Brian K. McAdams Sr., whose watch ended Jan. 22, 2021.
- NJSP Lt. Matthew D. Razukas, whose watch ended July 27, 2021.
- Newark police aide Richard T. McKnight, whose watch ended Aug. 11, 2021.
- Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Agent Gerard Eick, whose watch ended Sept. 27, 2021.