GLEN RIDGE, NJ — The Glen Ridge Police Department announced on Monday that Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts, a Livingston High School graduate of 1992, has died at age 45 due to complications from COVID-19.
According to the Township of Glen Ridge, Roberts is the first line-of-duty death in the history of the Glen Ridge Police Department, which was established in 1895.
Roberts had been hospitalized at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for just shy of three weeks after members of his own squad and the volunteer ambulance squad came to his aide. The doctors and nurses at both Mountainside Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital all acted to save his life.
Roberts was raised in Livingston and joined the Glen Ridge Police Department in 2000. He eventually settled in Glen Ridge, where he and his wife, Alice, raised their three children.
According to local officials, Roberts was considered the face of the Glen Ridge Police Department and a shining example of an officer dedicated to serving the community.
Through the years, Roberts served in additional roles and was also known as a bicycle officer, certified car seat installer and a DARE/LEAD instructor. He held the honor of being the most senior officer within the patrol division and served as a detective and a field training officer within the department.
Roberts also supported law enforcement races such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run which benefits the Special Olympics and the Tunnel to Towers Run honoring the lives of first responders lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
"The loss of Officer Roberts has extinguished the presence of a pillar and staple within the law enforcement community and the Borough of Glen Ridge," the department wrote in a statement following his death. "Despite our loss, the ever-lit green front porch lights at headquarters will continue to serve as a beacon for those in need.
"Rest easy, our brother in blue. You will never be forgotten and have left a permanent mark on each life you have touched. To have known you is to have loved you."