TRIBUTE: Church bells tolled, a lone bagpiper played, but otherwise all remained silent during a solemn final drive-by Wednesday morning for late Dumont Police Sgt. James Flaherty Jr.
A police escort with a motorcycle unit and a vehicle transporting the veteran officer’s family flanked the hearse, which stopped briefly in front of police headquarters beneath the Stars and Stripes, hung by borough firefighters, on Washington Avenue.
The turnout included fellow active and retired officers – both from town and more than a dozen surrounding communities – as well as other responders and civilians.
More than 100 people lined both sides of Washington Avenue, saluting as the hearse from Silverton Memorial Funeral Home (Toms River) continued on to South Jersey for visitation and a funeral. Details were expected to be released Wednesday evening.
"So sad," one colleague said -- as have many since hearing of Flaherty's death. "He was such a good guy."
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, followed by a funeral service, at Silverton Memorial Funeral Home, 2482 Church Road, Toms River., and entombment in Ocean County Memorial Park.
Flaherty, 51, who lived in the Cambridge Heights section of Ramsey, was four months shy of 25 years in blue -- just about all of it in Dumont. He’d returned to work after back surgery only to be re-injured during an assault last Nov. 1.
A Toms River native, Flaherty joined the department in 1995 after after four months with Conrail police in Seaside Heights, then became sergeant in 2007. He’d also worked at All American Ford.
“The passing of Sergeant Flaherty is a tremendous loss to our police department, borough and community,” Mayor Andrew LaBruno said. “He served Dumont with pride for over 24 years [when] he built relationships and friendships with our residents and community.
“We ask that you please keep Sgt. Flaherty's family and our members of the Dumont Police Department in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” he added.
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