On Friday afternoon, regular traffic came to a halt on the Belleville Pike and Ridge Road to open the route for the funeral procession of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago.
The 23-year-old rookie, promoted posthumously to detective, had been ambushed early Sunday, July 13, when he responded to a 911 call at a Jersey City Walgreens.
Thousands of police officers lined the streets around St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City during the Friday morning funeral Mass, after which the body of young hero was taken to Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington for interment. Escorting the cortege was an extraordinary honor guard of what appeared to be at least a thousand police motorcycles.
At the intersection of the Pike and Kearny Ave./Ridge Road, members of the Kearny Police Department, including its honor guard, stood in silent tribute, along with members of the public who bowed their heads or placed their hands over their hearts as the hearse passed by.
Rest in peace, Detective Santiago.
— Karen Zautyk