JERSEY CITY, NJ - A Police promotion ceremony saw 75 officers rise in rank Tuesday, including a hero cop who ran towards gunfire during the Dec. 10, 2019 shootout in Jersey City that left four innocent lives lost.

Sgt. Marjori Jordan, who was seen in video running towards a fellow officer who was felled by gunfire on that day, was one of the officers promoted to lieutenant, becoming the highest ranking African American female officer in the department’s history.

While Jordan, who joined the Jersey City Police Department in 2009, was made a detective in 2006, and has served in the South District since 2014, did not stand out in the line of officers and seemed more than a little reluctant to be recognized Fulop, in his brief comments, alluded to the incident, calling the current climate challenging for the department.

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“As a city, we have had to overcome unprecedented obstacles this past year, and our officers never wavered in their commitment to keeping the community safe,” said Mayor Fulop.  “We have the best police department in the state, bar none, and I have no doubt this new leadership will continue to further our progress as a city.”

“Less than a year ago we saw a mass shooting hate crime here in Jersey City,” he said. “We saw a response unparalleled.” 

Fulop went on to point out the other contributions the police department made including helping to set up the first COVID-19 testing centers early in the pandemic and staffing them. And in the midst of these challenges, crime rates continued to decline, Fulop said.

Held outsider to comply with COVID-19 social distancing protocols, the ceremony also included Public Safety Director James Shea, Police Director Tawana Moody, and Police Chief Michael Kelly, and saw the swearings in of 20 captains, 20 lieutenants, and 35 sergeants.

“Law enforcement is ever-evolving, and it takes strong leadership throughout the department to achieve efficient and effective operations,” said Shea said. “These newly promoted ranks have countless years of experience between them, and I know that their training and experience will further our goals of decreasing crime and increasing public safety.”

These promotions, city officials said, achieve more diversity within the ranks, including the highest-ranking Hispanic female and highest-ranking African American female within the entire department. Among the new sergeants, 13 are Hispanic, two are Arabic, and two are African American.

Included with husband and wife pair Maria and Ismael Cortes, to captain and lieutenant respectively were William and Joseph Olszewski, brothers who joined the force in 1997 together and have been promoted through the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant and captain from the same lists each time. Although future assignments have not been made, William served in the west district, Joseph in the north.

While the JCPD has “implemented various police reforms, expanded training, and enhanced technological capabilities,” Moody said, “it takes true leadership to cultivate a department into the premier police force we have become here in Jersey City.”

“Our police department continues to grow in size and strength, and I’m confident the newest leadership rising in ranks today will continue to raise the bar, and further solidifies our spot among the top police departments in the state,” Kelly concluded.

Editor's Note: The publisher of TAPinto Jersey City also serves as a communications consultant for the JCPOBA

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