The New Jersey Department of Corrections recently added the names of corrections officers who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1894 and 1978. Until now, their stories were forgotten. Thanks to the efforts of Lt. Wayne Sanderson, the stories of these brave heroes will never be forgotten. Lt. Sanderson, himself a corrections officer, was researching his own family history when he found a newspaper article about the 1913 murder of an officer by an inmate. If there was one story, he knew there must be more. His research unearthed the names of men who had been shot, stabbed, beaten, suffered heart attacks and broken bones. 12 names altogether were added to the Memorial, which is on the grounds at the Department’s Central Office headquarters in Trenton. Lt. Sanderson is pleased that the memorial gives identity to the officers and the relatives who never knew them.
At the recent dedication ceremony friends and family members of some of those officers were present. Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Gary Lanigan said, “by memorializing our fallen heroes in this fashion, all of us can gain a measure of appreciation of the impact these brave individuals had on the correction field, the communities they were sworn to protect and to protect and the lives of those who knew and loved them.”.
Congratulations to the New Jersey Department of Corrections for keeping the memory of these, and all fallen officers alive.