Union City Police Officer John Kamel, a relatively new member of the force, died in a motorcycle accident last night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the Union City and North Bergen Police Departments responded to a multi-vehicle accident on the northbound side of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 22nd Street in Union City, the city said in a news release.
Kamel was off-duty and on his way to work when his motorcycle become involved in the accident and he succumbed to his injuries a short time later, officials said.
“I am in complete disbelief over the passing of PO John Kamel. I can still picture him speaking with business owners while walking patrol along Bergenline Avenue,” Union City Mayor Brian Stack said in a statement.
“The loss of John is tragic and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Union City Police Chief Richard Molinari echoed Stack’s sentiment on Kamel’s tragic passing.
“The passing of PO John Kamel is tragic and heartbreaking. John’s love for the job was evident and and his loss will be felt by the entire community,” Molinari added.
“The men and women of the Union City Police Department have suffered a great deal over the last seven months and John’s passing is another painful reminder for the city and the department.”
A lifelong Union City resident who graduated Emerson High School in 2009 and then New Jersey City University in 2013, Kamel was sworn into the force in January 2013.
The Instagram page of the Union City Policemen’s Benevolent Association recognized Kamel’s passing in a post last night.
“Another loss to our department. This is sickening. Truly unbelievable. RIP Kamel #433 you will truly be missed,” the post says.
This shockingly marks the third death of a Union City police officer in the past seven months.
In December, Officer Ricardo Fernandez passed away unexpectedly and Sgt. Mark Zeitounian died in a car accident in May.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect new information at 2:30 p.m.