Officials joined the Jersey City Police Department and community members for a special tribute to support fallen officers participating in the 26th annual Police Unity Tour this morning.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
Convening at the Liberty State Park Flag Plaza, retired JCPD Capt. Scott Schnee explained the tour was started in 1997 to raise awareness and funds for the families of fallen police officers.
“I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the policy unity staff. Your commitment to our community is truly remarkable,” JCPD Deputy Chief Nicola Flora said.
“The Police Unity Tour is a sacred tradition. Let us remember the brave officers who made the ultimate sacrifice and their families who do the same.”
The county also had law enforcement representatives on hand to help mark the occasion.
“ … You’re exactly what exemplifies all that is good in law enforcement, your commitment, your dedication to law enforcement … and to your community,” Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez stated.
“We all have a job to do. We raised our hand. We held it up high … to take care of all those who are in our communities. I see the blue and it goes right here to my heart. I thank God to watch each and every one of us,” added Hudson County Undersheriff Francine Shelton.
Hudson County executive candidate Craig Guy, a retired Jersey City police lieutenant, noted he was proud to stand with his brothers and sisters in law enforcement, as did Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chair Anthony Romano (D-5), a retired Hoboken police captain.
“You’ll always have the support of county government no matter what you do. They died to protect others. They will never be forgotten,” Romano stated, presented a plaque from the county to Schnee to commemorate the Police Unity Tour.
Another retired police officer who won elected office, Bayonne Councilman-at-Large Loyad Booker, also reflected on the event, which he said he rode in 10 times prior.
“Each year the ride is a solemn and emotional reminder that we are all connected to the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice to their communities. We must continue to honor their memory. We must never forget their courage.”
Cathy McBride, the mother of slain JCPD Det. Melvin Santiago, recalled her son, who she referred to as her hero, being shot in the head at the Walgreens at Communipaw Avenue back in 2014.
“He always wanted to grow up and make a difference. He wanted to make Jersey City safer. He made a huge impact. Coming from a police family, I never knew what the Blue Line meant until Melvin was taken,” she said, thanking everyone for their continued support.
Similarly, the family of JCPD Det. Marc DiNardo, who died July 21st, 2009, the family of JCPD Lt. Christopher Robateau, who was killed on January 5th, 2018, and the family of JCPD Det. Joseph Seals, who died in the infamous domestic terrorism incident on December 10th, 2019, were all on hands as well.
The Jersey City Police Cycling Team raised $85,000 this year in honor of the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Since 2005, the JCPD has raised over $1 million in total for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.
Over the course of the four-day Unity Tour, thousands of police officers from around the country will bike together to reach the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.