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TRIBUTE: Jersey City Officer Killed In Crash Was Loving Dad Who Treated Colleagues Like Family

Jersey City police officer Morton Otundo and his son, Andrew.
Jersey City police officer Morton Otundo and his son, Andrew. Photo Credit: GoFundMe photo

A Jersey City police officer is not all that Morton Otundo was.

The 40-year-old city resident killed in a motorcycle crash last week remembers him as a doting dad to his son, Andrew, and a coworker who treated his fellow officers as family, according to a GoFundMe campaign launched in his memory.

More than $62,200 had been raised on that campaign -- started by Otundo's former colleague Melagne Ramirez -- as of Monday morning. All funds raised will go toward Andrew.

"[Otundo] strived to educate and mold younger officers to be great at every turn," Ramirez writes.

"Morton was a phenomenal cop who did his job efficiently and always made sure his coworkers were good on the streets regardless of anything else."

Otundo was rushed to the hospital after colliding with a Ford Escape while riding his motorcycle on Communipaw Avenue around 2 a.m. Friday, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.

He was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m.

The other driver, 30 years old, was also taken to JCMC for evaluation.

Officer Morton Otundo at his December 2013 police academy graduation, where he served as the Class President.

City of Jersey City

"Outside of uniform, Morton was an amazing friend, son, brother and above all, a loving father to his young son, Andrew," Ramirez writes.

"Morton treated all of us like family and we want to be there as such now, more than ever, for Andrew, who will be left without his father’s infectious smile, deep rumbling wisdom and witty personality for the rest of his life. 

"Morton’s energy was absolutely one of a kind and we will forever miss him."

The events surrounding the crash remain under investigation by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department. No charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon.

"This is a great loss to the JCPD and the entire Jersey City community," Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.

"Officer Otundo leaves behind a lasting legacy throughout the entire police department through his two younger brothers, who are also on the force, as well as the many officers with whom he took the time to mentor, sharing his knowledge to help provide guidance and ultimately strengthen the department overall. 

"We send our deepest condolences to Officer Otundo’s family."

Otundo began working in the department in 2014, and was president of his recruiting class sworn in at City Hall in December 2013.

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