[Video and photos below.] Ocean County, NJ, remembered its fallen police officers and honored all peace officers during the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Day Service this morning at the Ocean County Police Academy in Ocean County Park off of Route 88 in Lakewood, NJ.
This year, two new names were added to the Police Memorial, as time was taken to remember Ocean County’s fallen officers and in particular Ocean Gate Police Officer Jason C. Marles, who died Nov. 25, 2010 and Lakewood Police Officer Christopher A. Matlosz who died Jan. 14. These two young men made the ultimate sacrifice as they protected their communities.
The annual event is hosted by the Ocean County Chiefs of Police Association with the support of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
There are now 12 names etched into the police memorial at Ocean County Park, officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Retired Police Chief William Dikun, who is the Chief Police Instructor at the Ocean County Police Academy, served as master of ceremonies. Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little gave the keynote address.
The Point Pleasant Borough High School Panther Concert Ban performed, as did the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools Performing Arts Academy Vocal Ensemble. Also participating were honor guards, motorcycle squads, bagpipers along with members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the New Jersey State Police and representatives of law enforcement agencies from throughout Ocean County.
The families of those Ocean County officers killed in the line of duty were recognized during the ceremony during the placement of a wreath at the Police Memorial.
The Police Memorial monument at the Police Academy now lists the names of 12 officers from Ocean County that have died. In addition to Officers Marles and Matlosz, the law enforcement fallen heroes that were remembered are: State Trooper First Class Joseph A. Smith, who died Aug. 4, 1927; New Jersey State Trooper Leonard P. McCandless, June 28, 1931; New Jersey State Trooper John J. Ressler, May 1, 1932; Marshal Arnold Johnson, Point Pleasant Police Department, July 22, 1928; Patrolman Hartley Richter, Lakewood, Police Department, April 1946; Chief Angelo J. Leonetti, Long Beach Township Police Department, March 6, 1962; Police Officer Robert T. Tobias, Manchester Township Police Department, May 17, 1975; Police Officer Richard J. Harper, Brick Township Police Department, May 4, 1978; Police Officer Robert Ventura, Jackson Township Police Department, March 18, 2001 and Police Officer William Preslar, Lakewood Township Police Department, May 14, 2007.
Click below for video:
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See below for photos: