FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield natives Frank, Marc and Joe Messineo recently expressed their “sincere gratitude and appreciation for the caring and compassion” that the Fairfield Police Department (FPD) showed in November when their father suffered a heart attack.

On behalf of the family, Frank spoke out about the incident during a recent council meeting, explaining that his father, Joseph Messineo, suffered a heart attack on Nov. 5 while picking figs in his backyard. Shortly after neighbors found Joseph and called the police, Frank said he and his brothers arrived to find “an army of FPD officers at the scene, and an ambulance team was working on [him].”

Escorted by 10 police cars, the ambulance rushed to Chilton Hospital as an officer drove Frank’s truck so that he and his brothers did not have to drive under duress. According to Frank, Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna and Fairfield Business Administrator Joseph Catenaro met them at the hospital.

Sign Up for West Essex Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Noting that this was three years to the day that their mother died, Frank said the brothers received phone calls from Manna, Catenaro, Sgt. Frank Tracey and Mayor James Gasparini all offering their assistance and support.

Since their mother believed in angels as protectors, the brothers gifted each of the responding officers with an angel ornament as a token of the family’s appreciation.

Among those honored were Chief Manna; Sergeants Steve Ptaszynski, Chris Niemiec and Frank Tracey; Officers Vincent Purcell, Nicholas Cocchi, James Ciampi, James High, Brian Holzmann, Sean Wilk and Frank Patierno; and SLEO II Officer Raymond Kassas.

Frank, an architect who led the construction of the new recreation complex and library renovations, is now helping with the renovations to the Fairfield police headquarters.

As he addressed the community, Frank stated that when his parents searched for a place to raise their family in 1969, they fell in love with Fairfield and lived in town for 50 years. Although they don't all live in town today, the brothers said that Fairfield will always be their home. Joe, the eldest brother, was not able to attend the meeting.