Plaques Dedicated For Officers Kaulfers, Lamonaco, and Perry

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Published: March 12, 2017 @ 9:32 AM EST

31-year-old Roselle Park resident and Port Authority Police Officer William J. Perry (Badge #1367) was shot and killed while on duty during a scuffle on a Jersey City train platform on December 22, 1980. He was survived by his wife and three children.

32-year-old Roselle Park resident and New Jersey State Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco (Badge #2663) was shot and killed while on duty during a traffic stop in on I-80 on December 21, 1981. He was survived by his wife and two children.

49-year-old Roselle Park resident and Port Authority Police Sergeant Robert Michael Kaulfers (Badge #131) was killed while on duty in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. He was survived by his wife and two children.

These two sentences for each man simply record the final moments of their lives but not the impact that each had on their family, friends, and community.

In Roselle Park, their impact is recognized in parks named after William J. Perry, Philip Joseph Lamonaco, and Robert Michael Kaulfers. Even in the room used by the borough to administer justice (municipal court) and to enact laws (municipal meetings), three portraits of officers Kaulfers, Lamonaco, and Perry are on a wall to honor their sacrifice. Up until recently, only one of these men have had a plaque commissioned by the municipality – and even it was upstairs in the mayor’s office.

Mayor Carl Hokanson asked council to address that oversight at a municipal workshop discussion and they agreed in the form of Resolution 95-17 by commissioning two plagues:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Roselle Park hereby authorize the memorializing of the plaques for State Trooper Phillip LaMonaco and Port Authority Officer Robert Kaulfers.

Last Thursday night at Roselle Park’s Mayor & Council meeting, Mayor Hokanson addressed the community, “It gives me great honor to stand in this great hall but it also saddens me to look at our police officers that were killed in the line of duty [who] grew up in Roselle Park.”

He then asked William Perry’s sister Betty and her husband to approach the dais. The mayor then read from the re-dedicated plaque:

“In memory of William J. Perry (1948-1980) as a Port Authority police officer killed in the line of duty on December 22, 1980. A resident of Roselle Park. A true example of dedication in the service to his fellow man. Memorialized January 1, 1981, by the mayor and council on behalf of Roselle Park and all grateful residents of Roselle Park.”

Mayor Hokanson then called officer Lamonaco’s sister, Diane, up and read his plaque:

“In memory of Philllllip Lamonaco (1949-1981) a New Jersey State police officer killed in the line of duty on December 21, 1981. A resident of Roselle Park. A true example of dedication in the service to his fellow man. Memorialized on this date, March 2, 2017, by the mayor and council on behalf of all the grateful residents of Roselle Park.”

Finally, officer Kaulfers’ brother Jack was present for the dedication:

“In memory of Robert M. Kaulfers (1952-2001) a Port Authority police officer killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. A resident of Roselle Park. A true example of dedication in the service to his fellow man. Memorialized on this date, March 2, 2017, by the mayor and council on behalf of all the grateful residents of Roselle Park.”

Beyond the facts that are trivialized to make for interesting dinner conversation – such as the eerie dates that officers Perry and Lamonaco died and when officer Kaulfers was killed – are the memories held and loss felt by the community – this community.

And although the words on each plaque do not fully encompass the impact that William J. Perry, Philip Joseph Lamonaco, and Robert Michael Kaulfers had on their family and friends, they keep honoring their sacrifice in the line of duty to protect and serve.

All three plaques will be installed under the portaits of each officer.