NEWARK, NJ - A New Jersey Transit police officer in Newark is being credited with reuniting a homeless man with his family for the first time in more than 24 years, officials said Tuesday.

Jose Lopez, 61, formerly of Long Branch, was reunited with his family on Thursday at Newark’s Penn Station. Lopez was found in early August by New Jersey Transit police officers in Secaucus Junction then was sent to Penn Station to meet with a police crisis outreach officer.

Transit Police said Officer Sean Pfeifer left dozens of messages last week before hearing from one of Lopez’s daughters in Bradley Beach. Lopez, who had made his way to New Jersey from Miami, also met some of his grandchildren for the first time. 

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Pfeifer, who gave Lopez a free haircut, shave and new clothes before being reunited with his daughters, was commended by Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett for going “above and beyond the call of duty to help this man and reunite him with his family.”

New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo said Pfeifer’s work showed “a good example of the incredible impact and difference our crisis outreach officers can make in someone’s life.”