Four Jersey City police officers ran into a two-alarm fire at an abandoned building on Bostwick Avenue and saved five people, Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera said.
“The video says a lot, hits home, and got me a little upset about the recent talks about defunding the police department. You have four officers that just went in there, did what they had to do, and they did it without any second thoughts about their own lives,” Rivera told HCV over the phone this afternoon.
At approximately 12:24 p.m. Friday, the Jersey City Fire Department was alerted of a blaze near the corner of Ocean and Bostwick Avenues, which Rivera indicated was 10-12 Bostwick Ave.
Prior to their arrival, Jersey City Police Officers Dean Wiggan, Angelo Aguillar, Lovey Robertson, and Jeremy Costa rescued five people from the fire, Rivera said, also commending the fire department for their work.
Overall, the incident incredibly ended without any severe injuries.
Just hours prior to that, the JCPD pulled off a successful hostage negotiation situation that stemmed from a domestic violence incident. The city did not provide any further details other than one woman was arrested.
Looking at the day as a whole, Rivera said these were key examples why public safety, in particular the police department, should not face any sort of budget cuts.
“Yesterday was a very busy today for both police and fire, but with respect for the PD: but for those four guys to go into that fire and have a hostage negotiation several hours prior and the team came out amazing: no one got hurt,” he stated.
“It’s frustrating when I hear my council colleagues talking about defunding the police. I think the taxpayer, the majority of the people in Jersey City, I don’t think they’re pro-defunding the police department. I get where they’re coming from, I don’t hate the movement, I just don’t think there’s a structure in place to do that here.”
Rivera added that while he’s not against funding community-run anti-violence programs, he doesn’t think that should have to come at the detriment of the police department.