Memorial Park to fallen Union City police officers unveiled

“At a time of unrelenting criticism to remember and give thanks for the men and women who wear the uniform of the police department and defend us everyday,” says Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

It’s about honoring the six police officers killed in the line of duty.

“The Union City Police Department Memorial Park will forever serve as a reminder that this city will never forget their heroism,” says Police Chief Richard Molinari.

“Working on this park was a great privilege for me.  But I think the biggest honor was when I contacted the families and told them what the city of Union City was gonna do for them,” says Police Officer Chris Scardino.

The park was named after Nicholas Guiardo — the last police officer killed, in 1974.

“Chris Scardino came up with the idea, let’s name it after all of them who made that ultimate sacrifice,” Stack says.

“I feel very honored, more for the families than actually for myself,” Scardino says.  “The goal was to make sure that the cops were never forgotten.”

Brian Stack was only eight-years-old when Guiardo was killed.

“Believe it or not I remember hearing about it as a kid growing up,” Stack says.  “Everyday, they go out there and put their lives on the line and I think that’s so important we recognize that.”

The accolades keep pouring in for Scardino and Union City officials when it comes to this park.

“It feels great. It’s nice to know that these officers are gonna be remembered and it’s also very nice to know that these residents of Union City are gonna have a place to come to,” says Martin Behr of North Bergen, grandnephew of Sgt. James Knight.

The memorial honors Det. Lt. Charles A. Harm, died Jan. 28, 1922; Patrol Officer Paul Scholtz, died Aug. 31, 1929; Sgt. James Knight, died March 5, 1931; Det. Arthur Materka, died Jan. 21, 1938; Sgt. Arthur McKenna, died July 10, 1941 and Det. Nicholas M. Guiardo, who died Nov. 4, 1974.

IF YOU WANT TO GO

Police Memorial Park is located at 11th and West Streets in Union City.

This new children’s park and memorial area honors the police officers who died in the line of duty, dating back to 1922.

About The Author

Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis

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