Police & Fire

Walk-Out for Five Retiring Union Police Officers

d688bd39d2ac46d9c904_ee57a796b82079420ee2_IMG_1827.jpg
Retiring officers Lt. James Purcell, Sgt. Patrick Kelly and Lt. Roberto Reyes at their walk-out on Thursday (not at the event, but also retiring: Sgt. Michael Boll and Officer Matthew Lepski) Credits: Tapinto Union
7e3a17c2e75f7442eb83_IMG_1810__1_.jpg
Lt. Roberto Reyes at his retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
23d09bd661e092d2d7d0_walkout_6-28.jpg
Lt. James Purcell at his retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
6b4cfbfea8fae7fa4505_IMG_1818__1_.jpg
Sgt. Patrick Kelly at his retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
75cae4a247f4795b20b0_IMG_1824.jpg
Deputy Chief R. Landolfi, Committeeman J. Florio, with retiring officers Lt. James Purcell, Sgt. Patrick Kelly and Lt. Robert Reyes with Director D. Zieser Credits: Tapinto Union
bee66f44cac30e408c24_IMG_1806.jpg
Lt. Roberto Reyes with Police Director Daniel Zieser at Reyes' retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
351d5819dc9962addd3c_IMG_1812__1_.jpg
Lt. James Purcell with Police Director Daniel Zieser at Purcell's retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
7cd6df4c9fa95a9c7b1a_IMG_1817__1_.jpg
Sgt. Patrick Kelly with Police Director Daniel Zieser at Kelly's retirement walk-out Credits: Tapinto Union
d688bd39d2ac46d9c904_ee57a796b82079420ee2_IMG_1827.jpg

UNION, NJ – A final walk-out was held on Thursday for five retiring Union police officers:  Officer Matthew Lepski, Lieutenant Roberto Reyes, Lieutenant James Purcell, Sergeant Michael Boll, and Sergeant Patrick Kelly.

Lt. Roberto Reyes was with the Union Police Department for 20 years.  He also served in the United States Navy for 20 years.  In the Navy, Reyes trained to become an Aviation Electrician, where he specialized in maintaining the naval fleet of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

As a patrolman, Reyes worked in the Patrol and Traffic Bureaus as an accident investigator and firearms instructor.  He is the recipient of two command citations from the department and a Valor Award from the New Jersey State PBA.

Sign Up for E-News

In 2008, Reyes was promoted to Sergeant where he worked as a platoon supervisor.  He was promoted to lieutenant in 2013.

“Rob, on behalf of the Union Police Department,” said Police Director Daniel Zieser, “we extend our heartfelt appreciation to you for your 40 years of service and we salute you.”

Lt. James Purcell is retiring after 25 years of service.  According to Zieser, Purcell comes from a law enforcement family.  His father, the late Sergeant Robert Purcell, Sr. was a 35-year veteran of the Newark Police Department.  His brother Bobby, Jr., retired a few years ago at the rank of Lieutenant with the Newark Police Department, and Purcell’s son Christopher, was sworn in as a Union County Sheriff’s Officer in April. 

“During Jim’s 25 years here in Union, he diligently served as a patrolman for nine years, a ‘Mighty Fine’ relief dispatcher, an accident investigator and a certified DARE and SRO relief officer,” said Zieser.

Purcell was promoted to Sergeant in November 2002. In December, 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.  “Lieutenant Jim Purcell,” said Zieser, “the Union Police Department wishes to thank and salute you for your 35 years of service and dedication.”

Sgt. Patrick Kelly served four years in the Marine Corps and joined the Union Police Department in 1994 after a short stint with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.  According to Zieser, a cousin of Kelly's, aside for his initial six months with the Union police, Kelly worked his entire career on the night shift.

“Pat, the Union Police Department and our family thank you and salute you for your service,” said Zieser.

Officer Matthew Lepski served 25-years with the Union Police Department.  Lepski could not attend the walk out event.  According to Zieser, Lepski served as our Union Center ambassador for many years among his other assignments as patrolman, a DARE officer and member of the department’s Special Operations Unit, currently known as our Street Crimes Unit.

“We’d like to wish Matt a happy and healthy retirement,” said Zieser.

Sgt. Michael Boll served four years in the Marine Corps in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield, where he rose to the rank of Lance Corporal.

“Mike enthusiastically championed for many charities and special events both on local and state levels,” said Zieser.  Boll, who was unable to attend the walk-out, was an active member of the PBA and the recipient of numerous PBA and departmental awards.  Boll was the catalyst for re-activating the department’s Honor Guard and starting the department’s Santa in Blue program, according to Zieser.

Boll’s policing assignments included patrol days, patrol nights, the Bicycle Unit, and the Street Crimes Unit.

“Mike, it is with great honor and gratitude to you,” said Zieser, “that we salute and thank you for your service, above and beyond the call of duty.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Union: Celebrate Your Furry Friend on National Dog Day

July 22, 2018

UNION, NJ – Did you know August 26 is National Dog Day?

Want to show all of Union that yours is the cutest, best, funniest, or sweetest dog?  Send Tapinto Union a picture of your dog(s) with his/her name(s) and your name.  We’ll publish all the great photos on Aug. 26 to celebrate our best friends!

Pay tribute to the pet in your life.  Send in your photos!  ...

The Science of Sound

 

UNION, NJ - Would your child like to learn about the science of sound?

The Union Library, in collaboration with Mad Science of West NJ, is hosting a program for kids, ages 6 through 12, who will learn about sound waves and create their own rainstorm, complete with rain, thunder and lightening.

The event will be held on  July 23, at 6:00 p.m.  Registration is ...

Rec on Wheels Cancelled for Tuesday Due to Heavy Rains

 

UNION, NJ - Due to inclement weather, the Rec on Wheels event scheduled for Tuesday at Joe Collins Park is canceled. 

The program will resume on Wednesday, July 18 at Sgt. Herbet Davis Park located at 940 Arcadia Place, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a variety of outdoor games and activities.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_28413e773369e9c53a09_shark

Mon, July 23, 1:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Let's Create: Shark Week

Carousel_image_48f4ba014c2527136032_wind_chime

Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Come Make a Beaded Wind Chime

Carousel_image_55452601f0c0f8ca7ec2_vauxhall_public_library

Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Crafty Adults: Beaded Wind Chimes

Carousel_image_26c43b0abe9ab836368e_mini_magick20180722-62042-1uvpwh5

Mon, July 23, 3:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Construction Zone

Union's Mayor Talks About Streetscapes

The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

Following the ...

Union Student Makes High Honors at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

July 22, 2018

WALTHAM, MA - Stephanie Enweonwu of Union, from the class of 2021 at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School, has been named to the high honor roll for the 2018 spring trimester. Stephanie received high honors, which requires a grade point average of 3.6 or above for the marking period.

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a coeducational day and boarding school located in Waltham, MA. With 190 years of ...

Union High School Grads Celebrate 20 Years

UNION, NJ – It seemed like old times when over a hundred 1998 Union High School graduates got together last week to celebrate their 20th reunion.

“Everyone had a blast,” said Planning Committee and 1998 Class President Erica Bell.  “I am super excited and truly blessed to have had the honor as Union High School Class of 1998 President to have helped in creating ...

Drew University Names Jennifer Benedict to Spring 2018 Dean's List

MADISON, NJ - Drew University student Jennifer Benedict of Union, a member of the Class of 2019 majoring in Computer Science, has been named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester. To qualify for the Dean's List, students must earn a grade point average of 3.6 or above.

Drew University, a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts university, includes the College of Liberal Arts, the Drew ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

July 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

The 24-hour Wawa store will officially open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with the grand opening ceremonies to follow. Free coffee will be offered at the store through July 16. Wally Goose, the ...

Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

LINDEN, NJ - Former Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham is set to be sworn in as a Union County Undersheriff, this Friday.

As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Traffic Advisory: Accident on GSP South Causes Closure Near Clark Circle

July 17, 2018

CLARK, NJ - A multi-vehicle accident on the southbound Garden State Parkway shortly beyond exit 135 has been causing major delays on the roadway.  Clark Police issued a warning that the southbound entrance to the parkway is closed at the Clark Circle due to an accident investigation taking place on the parkway at this time.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area.  ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

15th Annual Maplewoodstock is this Weekend: July 14 and July 15

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 15th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival, a free, two-day, live music and arts event, will be held this Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, from noon until 10 p.m. each day in Memorial Park.   

The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Union County Summer Arts Festival Continues July 25 at Echo Lake Park Featuring The Vinny’s & Katfish Lucy

July 22, 2018

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday, July 25, with the Vinny’s & Katfish Lucy taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free concert series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The Summer Arts Festival concert series is held at Echo Lake Park during the month of ...

Union County Seeks Caring, Compassionate Volunteer Advocates

Union County residents who are looking for a unique way to give back to the community can apply to volunteer with the Union County Rape Crisis Center. Volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center provide judgement-free guidance for victims of sexual violence through a phone hotline. They may also accompany victims in person, to help them navigate medical, legal and law enforcement issues.

“Family Fun & Flix” in Warinanco Park Tuesday, July 24 Featuring “Peter Rabbit"

Family Fun & Flix, a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, continues on Tuesday, July 24 with the presentation of “Peter Rabbit” at Warinanco Park, on the border of Elizabeth and Roselle. 

As part of the evening’s events, UC Get Fit, a health initiative ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)

 

Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 21, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Morristown and Other Local Areas

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Residents of Morristown, Somerville, Bridgewater and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Letters to the Editor