PATERSON, NJ - The Paterson Police Department is in mourning following the sudden death of longtime  Captain John Phelan.

Phelan, 58, died Sunday morning after medical complications while at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson.

"Captain John Phelan left an indelible mark that will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of the department and community," a statement read.

A second generation Paterson police officer, Phelan followed his father, the late Lieutenant Jack Phelan, on the job and also served alongside his loving wife, Paterson Police Deputy Chief Lourdes (Mercado) Phelan for 15 years.  

"Captain John Phelan was known for his vast knowledge, and equal desire to share that with everyone throughout the department, regardless of rank. John was equally known as a humble, dedicated, community oriented, public servant, who was always genuinely kind to everyone he met," the statement continued. "One of John’s many gifts was his openness and ability to help and communicate with people, one he would routinely utilize to help enhance public safety.

“We grew up together and our fathers served together on the department, this is the only job we ever thought of doing," Captain Patrick Murray of the Paterson Police Special Investigations Division stated. "John touched more people than any of us will ever know and I am proud to call him my friend.”

Captain John Phelan, a 911 responder, began his career as a Paterson Police Officer in June, 1984 and served as a Sergeant, and Lieutenant before being promoted to Captain of the Paterson Police Patrol Division. Throughout his career Phelan was assigned to the Narcotics Division, Detective Bureau, Patrol Division, in each, the statement read,he "made an amazing mark and outstanding contributions to his respective assignments."

 There will be a department funeral with honors and the arrangements are being made at this time and will be released.

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