SOMERVILLE, NJ - Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano recently honored 12 Somerset County officers at the new Law Enforcement Memorial at the Veterans Memorial Plaza located on Grove Street, adjacent to the Somerset County Administration Building.
Gathered at the ceremony were Sen. Christopher Bateman, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Singh Grewal, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson and New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan.
The engraved names of the fallen heroes are forever etched in black marble. Sheriff Provenzano read the name of each officer in the presence of their families, local law enforcement agencies, Sheriff’s office staff and members of the community. A rose was placed at the memorial for each fallen officer by family members, police officers and other dignitaries.
Two of the fallen officers served in the Somerville Police Department. Police Officer Manning T. Crow was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 18th, 1899; Somerville Police Officer Julius Sauter was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 3rd, 1917.
Crow was shot after confronting three burglars in a butcher shop on South Street. Though wounded, he walked back to police headquarters to report the incident and died.
Sauter was shot and killed attempting to save a man from committing suicide. The man turned his weapon on Sauter and fatally shot him prior to taking his own life.
Other Somerset County officers included on the memorial:
State Trooper Robert E. Coyle, State Police, Dec. 8th, 1924;
Chief of Police Charles Brendon Cavanaugh, Bernardsville, Sept. 8th, 1931;
Police Officer Samuel J. Kriney, Bound Brook, Oct. 29th, 1931;
State Trooper Michael J. Beylon, State Police, Feb. 22nd, 1932;
State Trooper Vincent C. Vosbein, State Police, June 19th, 1938;
Patrolman George Dunham, Franklin Township, July 10th, 1960;
Patrolman John Lebed, Franklin Township, July 10th, 1960;
State Trooper Thomas J. Hanratty, State Police, April 2nd, 1992;
Sheriff's Officer Ron Yeager, Somerset County, July 10th, 2000;
Police Officer Matthew J. Melchionda, Watchung, March 8th, 2006.
Thirteen-year-old Jake Whitenight, son of Correction Officer Paul Whitenight, sang the National Anthem and the Rev. John Rozembajgier of Mary Mother of God Church in Hillsborough, offered the invocation and benediction. Other participants included the Somerset County Pipes and Drums, Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, Bridgewater Police Department Honor Guard, New Jersey State Police riderless horse, New Jersey State Police aircraft flypast, and taps performed by Nate Kimmick of Somerville High School.
“It is my great honor to bring together families and friends of Somerset County. The heroes on the memorial will be remembered for what they loved to do, protecting us from harm, willing to sacrifice their lives for the security and well-being of our citizens. The pain, suffering and loss felt by the families will never be replaced or lifted. The memorial wall will serve to honor our fallen heroes for years to come by present and future citizens who come to visit this site,” Provenzano said.
Follow this link to view a photo album of the ceremony: http://bit.ly/345Wcmj