FAIR LAWN, NJ – When Fair Lawn Police Officer Luis “Lou” Vasquez heard that the shelves at the Van Riper Ellis Church George Muro Memorial Food Pantry were nearly empty, the longtime cop put the word out to the community to help families hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
Within a few days, residents answered the call and restocked the pantry’s supply, according to Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who recently recognized Vasquez for his efforts.
“Lou is a Hometown Hero because of where his heart is, which is in Fair Lawn and Bergen County,” Gottheimer said. “Lou constantly puts others before himself and does all that he does selflessly.”
Vasquez was recently presented with a Hometown Hero award, an annual recognition by Gottheimer for citizens that give back to their community.
“Whenever there is a need in town, Lou is there,” Gottheimer said. “He has helped raise money for sick children, been there for those who have lost loved ones and has reached out to the community in wonderful ways.”
During the ceremony’s July 6 livestream, Gottheimer said Vasquez– along with 45 other honorees – are “unsung heroes” who “embody our Jersey Values and make our community such a special place to live, work and raise a family.”
Vasquez, who serves as PBA president, said, “When I found out I was named a Hometown Hero, I was very honored that I was thought about. Living in this community my whole life, I am honored to work with our community every day and able to help out everyone.”
“Public service and volunteerism to help those in need is what I truly love to do,” the 21-year department veteran said.
This year’s other “Hometown Heroes” award recipients include first responders, veterans, students, seniors and business owners in the Fifth District.
Vasquez, along with the other honorees, Gottheimer said, “are actively helping us build a more perfect union.”
“We all should work to live up to their example,” he added.