The City of Union City dedicated a street and the local police department’s motorcycle squad building to fallen Police Officer Ricardo Fernandez, who passed away suddenly in December.
“It’s a difficult time for you, but hopefully you can find some solace in knowing that in the City of Union City, he’ll always be remembered,” Union City Mayor Brian Stack said to the various friends and family prior to the street renaming last night.
Police Chief Richard Molinari reminded the dozens in attendance about the importance of Police Week and why it was the appropriate time to honor Fernandez, a 24-year veteran of the department.
“Police Week is very simple: it’s to mark the remembrance of those officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice, who died in the line of duty, every resident that they served,” explained Molinari.
“And we decided this week that we were gonna take one day of Police Week and honor somebody who is truly somebody special to [the] Union City Police Department. Ricky Fernandez was the epitome of a cop’s cop. Ricky truly loved to come to work, to get on his motorcycle, and patrol the streets of Union City.”
Lillian Fernandez, Ricky’s wife, added that she knows he “is smiling from above,” declaring her love to her late husband before Molinari prevented her with a customized plaque honoring her significant other’s contributions to the force.
Shortly thereafter, Police Capt. Nichelle Luster unveiled Police Officer Ricardo Fernandez Way, located on 43rd Street between Bergenline and Palisades Avenues, to the resounding applause from police officers, friends and family members.
Just a few hundred feet away, the crowd gathered for the renaming of the motorcycle squad building. Julio Fernandez, Ricky’s older brother, took a few minutes to thank everyone for their continued support.
“I want to thank all who have come here today in memory of my young brother, beloved young brother, Rick. As you all know, he’s left us to serve in the God’s kingdom, but [he's] still with us spiritually,” he said.
After unveiling a new sign, rebranding the facility as the Police Officer Ricardo Fernandez Motorcycle Squad Building, Ricky’s son, Marc Anthony, pressed a remote button to reveal a new design and logo on the garage door – commemorating his late father, who was 48 years old at the time of his passing.