PLUMSTED – The Plumsted Township Police Department announced that Patrolman Joseph Engrassia, 23, had passed away May 6.
Engrassia was the stepbrother of another officer, Ocean Gate police officer Jason Marles, who at 32 was killed by a drunk driver on the Garden State Parkway on Thanksgiving 2010. Marles left behind a wife and two children, and extended family. That driver was sentenced to state prison.
Engrassia started his career, as many shore police hopefuls do, as a class II seasonal officer in 2014.
“Joey was a friend to many and a brother to all of us at the department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Engrassia family, his friends and co-workers during this difficult time,” the Seaside Heights Police Department said in a social media post May 8.
Engrassia was hired by the Plumsted Police Department on Dec. 3, 2015 and was a member of the patrol division.
“Joe was highly respected within our department and was someone we all could depend on. Joe was more than a coworker to us here, he was a friend. We are devastated and saddened by this and our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family and friends during this difficult time,” the Plumsted Police Department said in an online statement. “The department will have no further comment on this out of respect for Joe’s family and loved ones.”