Ocean County Salutes Fallen Officers At May 17 Ceremony

The Ocean County Honor Roll records the names of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since 2000. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

LAKEWOOD – Ocean County’s annual Law Enforcement Memorial Day Service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 17 at the Ocean County Police Academy, Ocean County Park.

“On this day, we remember the lives of Ocean County’s fallen officers – the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety, said. “Their service will never be forgotten.”

The Ocean County Chiefs of Police Association, with the support of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, host this event.

“This ceremony recognizes the dedication and the sacrifice of all men and women of law enforcement who are no longer with us,” Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy said. “We recall the important work of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and we extend our appreciation to the families and loved ones they left behind.”

The Police Memorial monument at the Police Academy lists the names of 18 officers from Ocean County that have died. Those names that appear on the Police Memorial at Ocean County Park are: New Jersey State Trooper First Class Joseph A. Smith, 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; Police Officer Hartley Richter, Lakewood Police Department, April 8, 1946; New Jersey State Trooper Raymond P. Fiola, February 19, 1962; 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 Larry A. Dunfee Jr., Stafford Township Police Department, April 27, 1981; Police Officer John J. Lesemann, Brick Township Police Department, Aug. 30, 1999; Police Officer Robert Ventura, Jackson Township Police Department, March 18, 2001; Police Officer William Preslar , Lakewood Township Police Department, May 14, 2007; Police Officer Jason C. Marles, Ocean Gate Police Department, November. 25, 2010; Police Officer Christopher A. Matlosz, Lakewood Police Department, Jan. 14, 2011; Detective Tina E. Rambo, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Aug. 1, 2011; Detective 1 John Scott Stevens, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Jan. 21, 2015 and Cpl. Scott R. Thompson, Manchester Township Police Department, April 10, 2015.

“On this day we take the opportunity to express our deepest appreciation to all law enforcement,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines, who will present the Freeholder Proclamation recognizing May 17 as Ocean County Law Enforcement Memorial Day, said. “We remember the fallen and their loved ones and we acknowledge the sacrifices made.

“Law enforcement is far from easy especially nowadays,” Haines said. “In Ocean County we have the greatest respect for all of our peace officers who work so diligently to keep us from harms’ way.”