TRIBUTE: Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state and the U.S. joined loved ones and government officials for the funeral today of New Jersey State Police Trooper Anthony Raspa (Badge #7425) in Somerset.
Members of Raspa’s 152 NJ State Police Class were among those at a private funeral Mass at Saint Matthias Church — along with officers from as far as California and Florida, Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno — to memorialize Raspa, 24, who was killed in a weekend car crash.
“He graduated from the academy in October 2013 and now we’re burying him, someone who had really the promise of a tremendous career,” NJ State Police Supt. Col. Rick Fuentes said. “Although he was only in our organization for a very short amount of time, he had already made his mark and left his legacy.”
ALL PHOTOS: Bill Bowman / The Franklin Reporter & Advocate
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“Trooper Raspa has made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in the line of duty while protecting the citizens of the State of New Jersey,” Christie said, in ordering state flags be flown at half mast, “and, therefore, it is appropriate and fitting for the State of New Jersey to mark his passing and to honor his memory.”.
Raspa, of Highland Park, was killed before 1 a.m. Saturday when his police cruiser struck a deer and then careened off the road into a wooded area on eastbound Route 195 in Upper Freehold, authorities said.
His partner, NJSP Trooper Gene Hong, 29, had cuts and neck injuries, they said.
“Though young, Trooper Raspa already had earned the respect of his fellow troopers and supervisors because of his character and his devotion to the highest principles of the New Jersey State Police,” said Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “He was proud of being a trooper and protecting the people of this State, and he gave his life in that noble calling.
“Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family as we honor him and his service to New Jersey.”
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