Press release provided by The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Detective Sergeant John Jedrejczyk of the City of Passaic (NJ) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for August 2008.
Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the New Jersey Naval Militia. He is also a lifesaving hero, a part-time teacher, and a Board Member of the nationally recognized Police Unity Tour. John Jedrejczyk is a sponsor and volunteer with the non-profit groups Special Angels Recreation and Putting Pieces Together, and advocates for children with autism and special needs. It is difficult to imagine that Detective Sergeant John Jedrejczk has any time or energy left to devote to his first love: his career as a law enforcement professional. A 35 year veteran of the Passaic (NJ) Police Department, Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk's experiences and contributions to the citizens of Passaic County and New Jersey as a whole, encompass that of a person who has maintained two full-time careers.
Throughout these many years, Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk has served within several divisions of the department: Patrol, Anti-Robbery, the Detective's Bureau and Internal Affairs. According to Chief Daniel Paton, "Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk has conducted countless investigations leading to numerous arrests and has received many commendations." He is willing to do what it takes to catch a suspect.
One Christmas season, Detective Jedrejczyk spent every evening on surveillance to catch a burglar who had committed several crimes at a local church. Finally, on December 28th, his patience paid off and he surprised the suspect. As the suspect fled, the Detective gave chase and single handedly confronted and arrested the burglar, whose fingerprints were compared to those from some outstanding cases. The comparison confirmed that Detective Jedrejczyk had not only arrested the felon responsible for the burglaries, but those same prints had been left behind at the murder scene of an elderly woman from a neighboring jurisdiction. All those hours of surveillance brought down not only a thief, but a cowardly murderer as well.
Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk is determined that young officers coming up the ranks know the history of their profession and, in particular, to recognize the service and sacrifice of those who went before them. Beginning in 1999, Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk spent countless hours researching files dating back one hundred years in search of his department's forgotten heroes. After two years, he compiled all known information about the five fallen officers from his department and reached out to their families. For the widow and children who were babies at the time Officer Robert Strone was killed on May 8, 1958, this personal contact and recognition were long overdue. In 2001, Strone family members were asked to present the department's first "Robert Strone Officer of the Year" award, which is now presented annually to an officer from the department who goes above and beyond the call of duty. To the Strone family, John Jedrejczyk is a hero.
Detective Sergeant Jedrejczyk also serves as the department's Honor Guard coordinator as well as that of the Elmwood Park Post 5084 VFW Color Guard. He strives to ensure that every member of each unit is property trained, outfitted and ready to stand guard when called upon to do so, traveling to other areas of the state to honor fallen heroes and to participate in community events. In 2002, he was hand-selected as a special officer at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Education is very important to this extraordinary individual and he knows that it is critical to anyone's success. Since 1995, in what little free time he might have, John Jedrejczyk has been an instructor at Passaic High School's Adult Evening School conducting lessons in the English as a Second Language program. He, himself, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and two Master Degrees, the first in Urban Education and Education Leadership and the second in Criminal Justice Administration.
Located in the nation's capital, the NLEOMF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers. The NLEOMF Officer of the Month Program began in September 1996 and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.