Harrison Police Officer Elizabeth Y. Delacruz of Jersey City died Tuesday, June 22, 2021, while at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
The mother of one daughter was just 30.
Her funeral will be conducted from Holy Cross Church, 16 Church Square, Harrison, on Thursday, July 1, 2021. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. The visitation will take place at Holy Cross Church on Wednesday, June 30, from 3 to 8 p.m. and Thursday morning after 9 a.m. Her burial will follow at the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Sparta. Funeral services are under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison.
If you would like to send a condolence message to her family, please visit www.mulliganfh.com.
Elizabeth was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and moved to the U.S. as a child. She eventually settled in Jersey City prior to briefly living in New York.
Liz served her country in the U.S. military, serving in the United States Marine Corps during Campaign Operation Enduring Freedom, achieving the rank of Corporal (E-4).
Following her military service, Liz joined the Harrison Police Department and served her community for the last three years. She was a member of PBA Local No. 22, Harrison.
She attended Hudson County Community College and received an associate degree in liberal arts in 2014. Following HCCC, she attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2016 — and then a master’s degree in public administration in 2020.
Liz’s favorite pastimes included traveling, dancing, working out and making memories with her daughter, Adelyn.
Word of Liz’s death spread immediately one week ago. Universally, the reaction was of shock and utter sadness. It began with a simple notice on social media from the Harrison Police Department.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Police Officer Elizabeth Delacruz, No. 980,” the post read. “Officer Delacruz served in the United States Marine Corp, (was) a Harrison Police Officer and a devoted mother. She served her country and her community with pride and passion. Her bright smile and contagious laugh will be deeply missed. Rest in the sweetest peace Officer Delacruz and watch over us all.”
Harrison Councilman Larry Bennett says Officer Delacruz was one-of-a-kind.
“She was just beautiful on the outside and the inside,” Bennett said of the veteran police officer. “No matter where I saw her, no matter what she was doing, she would always take the time to say ‘hello’ and to chat. The thing is, she always went beyond the call of duty — and she was always helping someone, always doing something good for the people of Harrison.
“I’m in shock. Shock. I’m going to miss her … we all are.”
Marisol Perez, a 16-year Harrison resident, recalled how Officer Delacruz helped her during a particularly bad patch in her life.
“I was going through so much personally,” Perez said. “But I got to know Liz just from the neighborhood. There were times she would stop by just to make sure I was doing OK. She didn’t need to do that — it was way above and beyond the call of duty. But she seriously cared how I was doing. Some of my oldest friends didn’t even check in with me during those tough times, but she did. She became my friend for life and it just eats away at me to the core that she is gone and was so young. I am going to miss her so much. I am better today because of her.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of Harrisonians took to Facebook to offer reflections on the life of Delacruz. Here is a sampling.
“A truly sad day for her family, friends, colleagues at HPD, fellow Marines and the Harrison community as a whole,” one commenter wrote. “May God bless her eternal soul and comfort those who grieve the loss of this accomplished woman who proudly and honorably served her beloved country and community. RIP.”
Said another: “My heart hurts for the family — may she RIP and watch over all of loved ones from Heaven, for there is no doubt in my mind she was an amazing woman.”
And yet another: “RIP Officer Delacruz. You were a shining bright example to all young girls out there that they can be and do whatever they want. I thank you for your service. This saddens me to the core. I pray for your family in blue as well as all of your family. Condolences to all.”
One police officer from hundreds of miles away even left a message of support.
“So sorry. Your brother and sister officers from the Chicago Police Department share your grief and loss of this beautiful officer. May she go with God,” the officer from the Windy City wrote.
She is survived by her daughter, Adelyn Batista, her parents, Juan Delacruz and Josefina Giudice, her siblings Eliu Delacruz, Adam Ramirez, Juan, Yajaira, Chanel and Denise Delacruz and Lesly Giudice, the father of Adelyn and love of her life, Hossein Batista, her grandparents, Rafael Villar, Claudina Medina and Ambrosio DelaCruz Santos and Lorenza Hernandez, many nieces, nephews and cousins and her brothers and sisters in the Harrison Police Department and the United States Marine Corps.
Liz will continue to live on in others as she bequeathed organ and tissue donations to the New Jersey Sharing Network, New Providence.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Liz’s GoFundMe page at https://www.gofund.me/4d6b2d21 or in care of the funeral home in loving memory of Liz.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.