PUBLIC SAFETY: With 60 DUI arrests among them, Fort Lee Police Officers Christina Blue, Carlos Cabrera and Tom Keelen were among nearly seven dozen cops from Bergen County who were honored yesterday at a ceremony held yesterday by MADD NJ (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
It’s the second time all three were recognized for their dedication to keeping the roads safe, Fort Lee Deputy Police Chief Tim Ford said.
They were among a group of 80 from Bergen County – including six from New Milford and five from Hackensack — to receive the special distinction at yesterday’s annual event ( SEE complete list, below ).
“Most of us have lost somebody to a drunk driver,” said MADD Volunteer Victim Advocate Maria Esteves, who works for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s personal to us to say thank you to these dedicated officers.
“It’s important for them to how much they are appreciated. They save lives every day.”
A total of 512 officers and 69 New Jersey State troopers from around New Jersey were recognized at the jam-packed event at Middlesex County College in Edison.
All of the officers were nominated by their individual departments, she said.
Among those recognized: Palisades Interstate Parkway Officer Raymond Walter for “his commitment to bettering the MADD organization” and for designing the award received by the honorees (see photo, below).
And among those who couldn’t make it were several officers who went to Washington, D.C., to receive the prestigious TOP COPS Award.
“This is the caliber of officer we have here in New Jersey,” said Esteves, whose 8-year-old daughter was struck and killed by a car driven by a drunk motorist. “Even someone who’s made only one DUI arrest the past year has contributed to making us all safer.”
The first MADD chapter was incorporated in California 33 years ago. New Jersey’s all-volunteer group holds talks, comforts grieving families and advocates for strict enforcement of DWI and DUI laws.
“Without you out there enforcing the drunk driving laws that we fight for, all of our efforts are really fruitless,” minister Robert Nulmann, a MADD volunteer, told the officers yesterday.
“You are the best hope that we have to make a difference,” he said. “Without you enforcing, without you preventing, without you protecting, we are nothing. That is why we are so grateful to you.”
PHOTO, TOP (l. to r.): Fort Lee PD Officers Christina Blue, Carlos Cabrera, Tom Keelen, Deputy Chief Tim Ford
Alpine PD Officer Stuart Conboy
Closter PD Officer Joseph Baldomero III
Dumont PD Officer Steve Quintano
East Rutherford PD Officer Ryan Micci, Officer Mike Rubino, Officer Matthew Bucceri
Edgewater PD Officer Timothy Farrel, Officer Jim Dalton
Elmwood Park PD Officer Michael Prelich, Officer Randy Gawrylo
Emerson PD Officer Anthony Mazzo
Fair Lawn PD Lt. James Corcoran, Officer Robert Manning, Officer Brian Rypkema
Fort Lee PD Officer Thomas Keelen, Officer Carlos Cabrera, Officer Christina Blue
Garfield PD Officer Gerald Wich, Officer Nicolas Santillo, Officer Anthony Koptyra
Glen Rock PD Officer Mike Trover, Officer Bryan Scott, Officer Greg Carter
Hackensack PD Detective Mark Gutierrez, Officer Sean Briggs, Officer James Han, Officer Wanda Rivera, Officer Robert Ghirardi
Hillsdale PD Sgt. Sean Smith, Officer Liz Zimmerman
Leonia PD Officer Sihoon Chung, Officer Frank Rocco
Mahwah PD Officer Timothy Letavish, Officer David Vegan, Officer Eric Larsen
Maywood PD Officer Matthew Parodi, Officer Darryl Wuhrl
Midland Park PD Officer Michael Canonico
Montvale PD Officer Jon Umanzor, Officer Andrew Fedick
Moonachie PD Officer Christopher Inserra, Officer Vito DeTrizio
New Milford PD Sgt. Brian Clancy, Officer Nelson Perez, Officer Justin Pisano, Officer Derek Mattessich, Officer Kevin Morris, Officer Frank Haggerty
North Arlington PD Sgt. Rui Encarnacao
Oakland PD Officer Joseph Noury
Old Tappan PD Sgt. Brett Terjanian, Officer Christopher Reilly
Paramus PD Officer Ben Fox, Officer Joseph Cullen
Park Ridge PD Officer Daniel Hoffmann, Officer Michael Babcock, Officer John Szot
Ridgefield PD Officer Brandan Hogan
Ridgefield Park PD Officer Justin Tress
Ridgewood PD Officer Joseph Youngberg, Officer John Chuck
River Edge PD Officer Dennis Griffith, Officer Joseph Starost, Officer Anthony Roman
River Vale PD Sgt. Christopher Belger
Rutherford PD Officer Stephen Batchelor
Saddle River PD Officer Paul Passaretti
Teaneck PD Officer Gregory Wright
Upper Saddle River PD Officer Kyle Zyskowski
Waldwick PD Officer Michael Coletta, Officer Christopher Goodell
Wallington PD Officer Paul Stolarz
Washington Township PD Cpl Thomas Lawton, Officer Vincent Montalbano
Westwood PD Officer Mark Foley
Woodcliff Lake PD Officer Simon Sherfer
Wyckoff PD Sgt. Michael Ragucci, Officer Kyle Ferreira
Palisades Parkway Police Officer Joseph Lanfrank, Officer Gregory Kimbro
SPECIAL THANKS: PIP PD Officer Raymond Walter
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