The Hoboken Police Department presented over 50 officers with a variety of awards for honorable and exceptional service, which included saving lives.
The afternoon event was held at the Howe Center on the Stevens Institute of Technology campus, where Mayor Ravi Bhalla was the first guest speaker to take the podium.
He said he was glad to attend a ceremony for the officers, especially in the context by which police forces across the country have faced intense scrutiny.
“It’s an honor to be here today, and it’s also somewhat refreshing to have this ceremony to honor all of the acts of valor that have been conducted by our Hoboken Police Department,” Bhalla said.
“And I use the word ‘refreshing’ because we are in a national climate where we hear so much negative news about law enforcement, so many stories out there on TV and social media that don’t really respect and honor the commitment made by law enforcement to communities, to families and to protect our families.”
Following Bhalla, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez mentioned how the entire police department responded when a NJ Transit train crashed into Hoboken Terminal in 2016.
“Today’s awards cover a wide spectrum of valiant activity, and they run from individual bravery over the past few years, to massive incidents like the NJ Transit train crash where the entire department was mobilized,” Suarez said.
“As the prosecutor for Hudson County, even though my job puts me right in the center of the law enforcement community, I still can’t equate what I do with what a law enforcement officer does day after day, night after night, putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Suarez was followed by Det. Vincent Lombardi, president of the local Policemen’s Benevolent Association, who for roughly the next hour called out the names of those police officers recognized for their efforts in preventing all sorts of crime on the streets such as robberies, shootings and public melees.
In particular, he noted the rigor by which two officers, one sergeant and three detectives, were able to track down the driver of a SUV who struck and killed a pedestrian.
“On June 25, 2016 there was a hit and run accident whereby a young man was struck and killed by a fleeing SUV vehicle on the corner of 6th Street and Willow Avenue,” Lombardi began.
“A long and lengthy investigation followed, and with very little information to go on, these officers managed to track down the vehicle and driver [who] had to answer for his crime.”
Those officers awarded for their exceptional service on June 25, 2016 are Sgt. Saverio Binetti, Police Officers Joseph DiMartino and Richard Torres, as well as Dets. Michael Miranda, Jonathan Mecka and John Quinones.