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.
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.”