UNION, NJ – Long-time colleagues, friends and family gathered around the steps of Union’s Police station to say goodbye to Captain Christopher Donnelly, who had his last walkout Tuesday morning.
“Today, the Union Police Department is honored to salute a man who dedicated over twenty-six years of selfless time and effort to public service,” said Union Police Director Dan Zieser. “He will be missed.”
Donnelly began his career in law enforcement in 1994 as a police officer in the Montclair Police Department. In January 1997, Donnelly became a Union police officer, initially assigned to the Patrol Bureau. Early in his career, Donnelly served as a member of the Street Crime Unit, Bicycle Unit, and as a Police Explorer advisor of the Law Enforcement Explorer Program. In April 2005, Donnelly was promoted to Sergeant and assigned as a road supervisor to the Patrol Bureau. In May 2010, he was reassigned as the Street Crimes Unit supervisor and in March 2015, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant within the Patrol Bureau.
Donnelly was promoted to captain in July 2018, where he has served as commander of the Staff Services Bureau. Donnelly also served on the Executive Board of the Superior Officer’s Association since 2007 and currently holds the title of President.
Throughout his career, Donnelly received numerous honors and recognitions for distinguished service including departmental Certification of Recognitions, Medal of Merit, seven Command Citations, three Commendation Medals, the 200 Club Certificate of Merit, a NJ State Law Enforcement Association’s Meritorious Service Award, the 2018 UNICO Richard Galante Sr. Humanitarian Award, nine PBA awards, VFW Officer of the Year Award, and the Essex County Fugitive Apprehension Award, which he received for apprehending a suspect who shot a police officer.
“Today we celebrate a fine Union officer,” said Deputy Mayor and Police Commissioner Joseph Florio. “Chris is retiring after many years of great service. We have a great police department, and Chris’ leadership has been a part of that. I only wish him the best.”
Donnelly was joined at the walkout by his wife Jennifer and three children, Christopher, Gabriella and Anthony, and brother Eddie, a Union firefighter and current state FMBA president, and parents Louise and Ed.
“On behalf of the Township of Union Police Department, we wish you the very best in your future endeavors,” said Zieser. “This is not a goodbye or farewell. Simply put, we thank you.”
“It’s a bitter-sweet day for the Township of Union,” said Business Administrator Don Travisano. “We’ll miss Chris. We’ll miss his leadership, his proactivity, his problem-solving. We wish him well and wish him good health.”