Retired North Arlington Police Chief Joseph Zadroga dies aged 76

The retired Chief of Police of the North Arlington Police Department, whose son was one of the first victims of illness caused by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was struck and killed in a tragic accident Saturday, Jan. 13, at around 2 p.m., in Galloway Township, Atlantic County, in South Jersey, according to reports in the New York Daily News and the North Arlington Police Department’s social media.

Joseph Zadroga, who served on the North Arlington PD from 1970 to 1997, lastly as its Top Cop, was 76.

The New York Daily News reported Zadroga was at a rehabilitation center in Galloway Township, visiting his wife, when a man driving an SUV accidentally accelerated as he tried to park his vehicle, striking Zadroga. Efforts to save Zadroga at an Emergency Room were unsuccessful, according to reports.

Zadroga Field in North Arlington was named after Zadroga’s son, James, who served in the NYPD before dying from respiratory illnesses in 2006.

Mayor Daniel H. Pronti, himself a retired police sergeant, took to social media to remember Zadroga.

“On behalf of the entire borough, our employees and everyone who was kept safe during the career of Chief Zadroga, we send our condolences to his family. May he rest in peace and always be remembered.”

Patrick Hendry is the president of the New York City PBA.

“Joseph Zadroga took on a fight that no father should have to face,” Hendry said in a statement. “But he fought for his hero son with incredible courage and helped every single 9/11 responder in the process. We are devastated to have lost one of the ‘blue family’s’ strongest champions, and we will mourn together with the Zadroga family.”

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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.