SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Although full Police Week ceremonies are among the numerous events canceled by coronavirus quarantine, the South Orange Police Department participated in a moment of silence today for New Jersey police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty and were added to the Police Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. 

“During Police Week, it’s very important to remember those officers who have died in the line of duty, and this small moment of silence is dedicated to them,” Chief Kyle Kroll told TAPinto SOMA. The annual event is usually a week of national events in Washington, DC, and in local communities, but has pivoted to online remembrances this year.

SOPD stood in solidarity during the statewide moment of silence at 10 a.m. today in which the dispatcher read off the seven names followed by moment of silence.

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May 15 has been Police Officers Memorial Day and the week around it national Police Week since 1962. This is the first year events are not being held in person.

Lt. Adrian Acevedo usually joins some 1,200 police officers on the Police Unity Tour during Police Week: they ride bicycles down from New Jersey to DC “to bring some attention to officers being hurt or killed” in the line of duty, Acevedo said. It started in 1997, and also raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial.

“This is the first year there’s been a break” for quarantine, he noted. Usually on May 12, “we roll into the memorial” to cheering supporters and “on May 13 there is a ceremony in DC that brings out thousands,” Acevedo said, with a candlelight vigil; some 300 names are added each year to the memorial.

During quarantine, “none of that’s happening. The best we can do is what the chief did” by having a local ceremony, he noted. 

“I’m always riding in honor of someone who’s been shot,” he said. Acevedo has participated in the ride since 2005. Often times an officer is killed at side of the road or on domestic violence calls, he said, although “in the last five years there’s been an uptick in fake 911 calls that result in an ambush” and shooting of an officer.

“Let’s not forget what this time of year would usually be like,” and instead keep the tradition of remembering officers who passed away in the line of duty any way we are able, said Acevedo. “Let’s just stand outside for a few minutes, and pay homage, and don’t forget. And don’t forget.”


New Jersey police officers being added to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial for 2020:


Officer Paul D. Pallas

Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department

End of Watch: March 14, 2011


Sergeant Vincent J. Oliva

Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department

End of Watch: Nov. 27, 2013


Officer Mark J. Meier

Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department

End of Watch: July 31, 2017


Sergeant Bryan McCoy

New Jersey State Police 

End of Watch: April 6, 2019


Officer William J. Leahy

Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department

End of Watch: June 6, 2019


Detective April E. Bird

Asbury Park Police Department

End of Watch: Aug. 5, 2019


Detective Joseph Seals

Jersey City Police Department

End of Watch: Dec. 10, 2019


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TAPinto SOMA is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village. 

TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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