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Bayonne Swears In Eight Police Officers

Last week, at a ceremony held in the Bayonne City Council Chambers, eight new police officers were sworn in to the Bayonne Police Department.  Police Chief Robert Geisler welcomed the new recruits to what he called “the best job in the world.”  

Public Safety Director Robert Kubert stated the new officers received their basic training at the police academy and would receive additional education from other officers.  

Council Member At-Large Loyad Booker, a retired police officer, noted that the new officers “worked hard to get here.”  They passed competitive civil service exams and underwent twenty-one weeks of training.  He called them “the best of the best,” and said they now have “a very serious job.”  

Second Ward Council Member Jacqueline Weimmer asked the new police to remember that their badges “symbolize justice, safety, and security.”  She called their ceremony “a significant milestone.”

Below are brief biographies of the new officers:

Police Officer Alan Velasco was educated at High Tech High School.  He is pursuing a degree in Accounting at Seton Hall University.

Police Officer Ashleigh Newman is a graduate of Bayonne High School and St. Peter’s University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.   

Police Officer Richard Bukowski is an alumnus of Bayonne High School and is continuing his education at Rutgers University.

Police Officer Brian Cotter is a graduate of Bayonne High School.  He is continuing his education at Caldwell University.

Police Officer Octavio Cordova is an alumnus of Connections Academy School.  He continued his education at Bergen County Community College  with a focus on Criminal Justice.

Police Officer Christopher Rocheny is a graduate of County Prep.  He was the Lead Security Officer at Bayonne Medical Center before becoming a police officer.

Police Officer Aboubacar Diawara is a graduate of Bayonne High School.  He continued his education at New Jersey City University where he pursued a major in Criminal Justice.  Before joining the Bayonne Police Department, he served as a Hudson County Corrections Officer for four years.

Police Officer Alex Czerwienski is an alumnus of Bayonne High School.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Seton Hall University.  

Jersey City Man Charged With Theft From Union City Homeowners Association

On Monday, June 17, 2024, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit arrested a 39-year-old man from Jersey City after receiving a report of theft from a Union City homeowners association.

According to Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Eric Li has been charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking in violation, a crime of the second degree.  Suarez says Li was arrested at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Secaucus, then released pending his first court appearance, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 15, 2024.

A press release from the Prosecutor’s Office states, “The investigation found Li misused funds from a Union City homeowners association for personal gain while he served as the board’s president. The theft occurred between 2017 and 2023 and exceeds $150,000.”

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Special Investigation Unit with the investigation and arrest, with assistance from the Union City Police Department. The above charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Jersey City Teacher Charged After Making Inappropriate Contact With High School Student

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has announced that her office’s Special Victims Unit has arrested 67-year old Steven Gordon of Jersey City, a teacher at University Academy Charter High School, after he made inappropriate contact with a juvenile student.

The crime took place on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 during school hours.  The arrest was made on Friday, June 14, 2024 at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Secaucus.

Gordon is charged with criminal sexual contact, a crime of the fourth degree, and endangering the welfare of a child, a crime of the second degree.  Gordon was released pending his first court appearance, which is tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 5, 2024. Gordon resigned from his teaching position following the investigation.

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Special Victims Unit with the investigation and arrest.

Anyone wishing to report a sex crime should call the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) at 201-915-1234.

The charges against Gordon are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Guy Elected New HCDO Chairman, Diaz Vice Chair

During Monday night’s bi-annual reorganization meeting of the Hudson County Democratic Organization at County Prep High School in Jersey City, Hudson County Executive Craig Guy was named the new Chairman.  There was no opposition.

Guy takes over for North Bergen Public Works Commissioner Anthony Vainieri, who held the position for the past two years.

West New York Public Affairs Commissioner Marielka Diaz was chosen as the HCDO’s new Vice Chairperson.

Guy had the support of Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey State Democratic Committee Chairman LeRoy Jones and all of Hudson County’s mayors.

Jersey City Assemblywoman Barbara McCann Stamato, who serves as the city’s Democratic Organization Chairperson, nominated Guy for the post.   The nomination was seconded by West New York Revenue and Finance Commissioner Adam Parkinson.

 

2 Jersey City High Schoolers Found International ESL Program

A graduation ceremony was held on Sunday for Words Beyond Worlds, a worldwide language organization created to form a strong social and academic environment for children and adults for English as a Second Language.

This free program was founded last spring by McNair Academic High School juniors Eza Iqbal and Arjun Krishnakumar.  It is based out of Public School Number 3 in conjunction with the Tongyan Chinese School and the Jersey City Public Library.
Classes are held every Sunday, with tutors on site in Jersey City.   Some of the students even take the ESL classes online from around the world.  Words Beyond Worlds has become extremely successful, so much so, that it has won two funding grants from the Taco Bell Foundation.
The progrm has approximately 800 to 900 students.  If you would like more information on Words Beyond Worlds, visit their Instagram page 
@words_beyondworlds or send an email to wordsbeyondworlds@gmail.com.

17 New Firefighters Take Oath of Office in Bayonne Including Two Sisters

On June 13, seventeen new Bayonne firefighters were sworn in at a graduation and awards ceremony in the Bayonne City Council Chambers.  For the first time in Bayonne history, two sisters, Lacey Gillen and Payton Micewicz, were sworn in as firefighters.  During the ceremony, the Fire Department honored former Chief Gregory Rogers and presented valor awards to Captain Matthew Kemple and Firefighter Erik Lyman.

The following is a summary of each firefighter: 

Firefighter Alexander Amaral is a graduate of High Tech High School.  He graduated from Rowan University, where he majored in Computer and Informatics.

Firefighter Luke Anderson is an alumnus of Rainforest International School.  Later, he studied International Relations at Bethel University and completed a Master of Theological Studies at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary.

Firefighter James Andrew Ashe is a graduate of St. Peter’s Prep.  Later, he attended the University of Tampa, where he majored in Criminal Justice.

Firefighter John Bonvenca is a graduate of Bayonne High School.  He was employed previously by NJ Transit as a locomotive engineer.

Firefighter Jason Caposello is an alumnus of St. Peter’s Prep.  He continued his education at St. Peter’s University and New Jersey City University.

Firefighter Gregory Damico is a graduate of Bayonne High School.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at Rutgers University.  He graduated from New York Law School.  

Firefighter Andrew Doherty is a graduate of St. Peter’s Prep.  He also attended Rutgers University, where he majored in Economics.

Firefighter Justin Fitzpatrick is an alumnus of Bayonne High School. He also attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and St. Peter’s University, majoring in Criminal Justice.

Firefighter Lacey Gillen is a graduate of Bayonne High School.  At Montclair State University, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Firefighter Damien Mangine is an alumnus of Woodbridge High School.  He attended Middlesex County Community College, majoring in Criminal Justice and Liberal Arts.

Firefighter Payton Micewicz is a graduate of Holy Family Academy.  She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hudson County Community College, and New Jersey City University, majoring in Graphic Design.

Firefighter Anthony Passariello is an alumnus of Marist High School.  He attended Rutgers University, majoring in Business Analytics and Information Technology.

Firefighter Hector Quiroz attended Gateway High School and Osceola High Scholl in Kissimmee, Florida.  He graduated from Hudson County Community College with a major in Computer Arts.   

Firefighter Christopher Ruh is a graduate of St. Peter’s Prep.  He attended New Jersey City University, Hudson County Community College, and Montclair State University, majoring in Sociology.

Firefighter Robert Schork is a graduate of Cranford High School.  He attended Central State University.   

Firefighter John Walter is an alumnus of Bayonne High School. 

Firefighter Victoria Zimbardo is a graduate of Bayonne High School. 

The new class of firefighters was named in honor of former Fire Chief Gregory Rogers.  Rogers described firefighting as “the best profession in the world.”  He served in the Fire Department from 1980 to 2016.  Rogers said that the job still gave him “that same thrill” after thirty-five years.  Rogers encouraged the new recruits to participate in all events and to stay in shape for the rest of their careers.  Chief Weaver said that Chief Rogers led the department during Hurricane Sandy, when firefighters responded to 1,100 calls for service.  Under Chief Rogers’ leadership, the Bayonne Fire Department obtained $10 million in grants.  During his tenure, the department enlisted its first female firefighter.

At the ceremony, the department presented a Class A Award to Captain Matthew Kemple.  During a visit to Virginia Beach, Captain Kemple rescued a 17-year-old girl from 300 yards out in the Atlantic Ocean.

The department presented a Class B Award to Firefighter Erik Lyman.  Called to the scene of a fire on East 15th Street, Firefighter Lyman mounted a ladder to rescue people who were trapped on the third floor of a burning building.

 

Man Charged Following Jersey City Sexual Assault Investigation

A Jersey City man has been charged with sexual assault following an investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Sexual Victims Unit.  According to Prosecutor Esther Suarez, 30-year old Marc Toledo was arrested on Monday, June 17, 2024 in connection with a sexual assault that took place in Jersey City on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

Suarez says Toledo has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, a crime of the first degree; kidnapping, a crime of the first degree; sexual assault, a crime of the second degree; aggravated assault, a crime of the second degree; terroristic threats, a crime of the third degree; and criminal restraint, a crime of the third degree.  Toledp was arrested at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Jersey City and taken to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny pending his first court appearance.

According to a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office, “In the morning hours of Sunday, June 2, 2024, a 22-year-old female victim reported being approached by an unknown male in a Journal Square neighborhood. The victim entered the white vehicle the male was operating. The male drove the victim a short distance to the area of Division Street and Eighth Street at approximately 7 a.m.  The victim reported she was sexually assaulted in the vehicle.”

Prosecutor Suarez did not report why the female victim would enter a vehicle with an unknown driver.

Suarez credited the Special Victims Unit with the investigation and arrest, with assistance from the United States Marshal’s Service and the Jersey City Police Department.

The matter remains under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this matter, or wishing to report a sex crime, should call the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) at 201-915-1234. All information will be kept confidential.

The charges against Toledo are accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Union City Announces Cooling Centers Due to Impending Heat Wave

With temperatures expected to soar this week, Union City has announced it will open cooling centers at two locations.

The centers will be open from Tuesday, June 18th through Sunday, June 23rd at:

  • William Musto Cultural Center, 420 15th Street between 8 am and 10 pm
  • Senior Citizens Building, 3700 Palisade Avenue, OPEN 24 HOURS

Hoboken’s Rebuild by Design Community Meeting Rescheduled To June 20

The City of Hoboken and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) have rescheduled the virtual community meeting on Rebuild by Design construction for Thursday, June 20 at 6 p.m.

Residents are invited to learn more about the construction of the southern and northern Resist structure of the Rebuild by Design Hudson River (RBDH) project. When complete, the comprehensive project aims to protect Hoboken from storm surge flooding.

To register for the meeting, click here.

For more information, go to: http://local.nixle.com/alert/11082399/.

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