UNION, NJ – The township's police officers and heroes were honored during a National Police Week celebration with an awards ceremony at Town Hall on Thursday.

Welcoming his brothers and sisters in blue, Capt. David Tyms said, “It is your selflessness, bravery and call to duty that brings us here today. Each and every one of you put your lives on the line to serve and protect and to make our citizenry safe and secure.”

Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

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“It’s a privilege to honor the service of both officers and civilians,” said Mayor Manuel Figueiredo. “Your willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty is critical to ensuring the safety and continued growth of our community.”

Committeewoman and Police Commissioner Michele Delisfort said, “the examples you set as officers and civilians make better citizens of all of us and is the glue the binds this community together.”

“We are blessed that we have lost only one police officer in the line of duty here in Union, 62-years ago during an armed robbery,” said Police Director Daniel Zieser.    Sergeant Clinton Bond’s end of watch was February 12, 1954, but is remembered “in our hearts forever”.

Senator Raymond Lesniak presented a resolution from the New Jersey Assembly and Senate to each officer.  Union County Freeholder Mohamed Jalloh presented  Freeholder resolutions “as a small token of our appreciation for all that you do to serve our community”.

Commendation medals were presented to Police Officer Marcos Novoa Rios and Detective Joseph Foster for an incident that occurred in January 2015 in which two loaded 9mm handguns were discovered, along with marijuana and heroin, and two men with criminal histories and multiple felony convictions were arrested.

Command Citations were presented to Officer Adam Jovic, Officer Christopher Lensi, Officer Fernando Trejo, Officer Carthaniel Crum, Officer John Oliviera and Officer Robert Leamy for various actions, including auto pursuits, apprehension of suspects with loaded guns, and a struggle with a violent suspect.

The Dispatcher of the Year Award was presented to Communications Officer Aliza Todmann for her work during a call from a despondent woman holding a gun to her chest with two small children in her home.  CO Todmann spoke with the woman for 30 minutes, developing a rapport with her.  The woman was safety taken to a hospital.