The Mount Arlington Police Department paid tribute to fallen Officer Joe Wargo, on Tuesday night, the first anniversary of his death. Officer Wargo was killed by an alleged drunk driver while on patrol on Rt. 80.
About 300 family, friends and fellow officers attended the hour-long ceremony, culminating with each person lighting a candle in his honor.
“We wanted to offer the opportunity for our community to be part of a memorial for Joe,” said Mount Arlington Police Chief Keith Licata.
The ceremony was led by Chief Licata, who spoke from the heart throughout the ceremony. Mount Arlington Mayor Arthur R. Ondish spoke briefly and borough prosecutor Doug Cabana shared many humorous stories about Officer Wargo’s dealings with municipal court and when he was the president of New Jersey FOP Lodge #78.
Officer Wargo's brother, Robert, also addressed the crowd.
Chief Licata also paid tribute to the many police departments who helped at the scene and the weeks following. Those departments were; Roxbury PD, Kinnelon PD, Morris County Park Police, Morris County Sheriff’s Dept., Mount Olive PD, Phillipsburg PD, Lopatcong PD and Netcong PD.
Also singled out for their heroic participation were three volunteer firemen who were passing by the scene at the time of the crash, including Vinny DeRoso and Caitlin Heller from Rockaway Twp., and Christopher Smith from Parsippany.