The City of Bayonne dedicated a park bench memorial and renamed a street during a ceremony to honor late Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals, a native of the Peninsula City who was killed during a domestic terrorism incident in 2019.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
The road from the foot of West 16th Street to the lower level of DiDomenico Park was renamed Detective Joseph P. Seals Way in his honor. In addition, a granite bench with his face and name engraved was dedicated.
“Today was Bayonne’s way to honor one of our sons. He made the ultimate sacrifice of giving his life protecting the community in Jersey City. This was our way of letting his family know we appreciate Joe, ” Mayor Jimmy Davis, a retired police captain, said.
“We will never forget Joe … He gave his life on the line, not knowing what was happening. And he died not knowing what he almost prevented from happening … And that’s why we can never forget, forever, Joseph Seals, who grew up on this street up the block. Seals will always be remembered here in the city of Bayonne as one our sons who gave his life to protect his community.”
Seals was killed in a domestic terrorism incident in the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City on December 10th, 2019, which claimed three other innocent lives before the shooters committed suicide.
Seals was 40 years old and had been an officer with the JCPD for 13 years at the time of his death.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop also participated in the ceremony, thanking Bayonne for their efforts to remember Seals and also recalling him as one of the JCPD’s best detectives.
“In the case of Detective Seals, he was really one of our best detectives and one of our best officers. He took it upon himself to do more than what was called upon in a proactive way,” he stated.
“And that ultimately ended up partially being the cause that put him in those circumstances. There’s no question, if you look at the facts of that day, that his actions saved countless people because he changed the trajectory of what that plan was earlier in the day.”
The Bayonne Police and Fire Departments, along with the Jersey City Police and Fire Departments, participated in the ceremony honoring Seals.
As part of the ceremony for a fallen officer, a New Jersey State Police helicopter flew overhead and landed on a nearby sports field. The NJSP also had mounted officers participate in the ceremony.
“He represents the best that there is in policing. And hopefully, we’ll never forget his memory,” Hudson County Commissioner Anthony Romano (D-5), a retired Hoboken police captain, exclaimed.
“He’s a symbol of the sacrifice that first responders do give… and what good policing is. It’s not always negative. There’s positive and proactive policing. We’ll never forget all the work that he’s done for the good of the people of this county and these cities.”
Romano explained that Seals was a Hudson County corrections officer early in his career before transferring to the JCPD, continuing that was a beloved member of the community and a family man.
Seals was one of four siblings, was married, and is survived by his five children.
“We really enjoyed seeing everyone come out for him today and take the time to think of him,” said Seals’ sister, Toni-Ann Seals, said at the podium, recalling him as notorious prankster.
“He was a prankster, a jokester. Any coworker that’s come up to us to talk about him, the first thing they say is he pranked me.”
One of his other sisters, Tara Hallenbeck, also said a few words about her brother.
“He left his mark on the world. Everyone has many stories about him. He definitely will not be forgotten … He was just somebody that did a lot that won’t be forgotten”
She said that he would be remembered for his sense of humor, his hard work, his dedication to the police force, helping people, and his love for his family and children.
Along with the ceremony dedicating the bench and the street, there were a concert and food trucks as part of the celebration honoring his memory.