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Annual Bergen Vigil Will Unite Loved Ones Of DWI Victims, Law Enforcement

"We encourage survivors who have not attended in the past to come and help us keep the memories of their loved ones alive."
"We encourage survivors who have not attended in the past to come and help us keep the memories of their loved ones alive." Photo Credit: PHOTO: Darren Sucorowski

A solemn ceremony will draw loved ones and members of law enforcement to Hackensack in the ongoing campaign to keep drunk drivers off Bergen County's roads.

The event, organized this year by The Police Traffic Officers Association of Bergen County and the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, aims to "pay tribute to victims killed by drunk drivers, and to offer their survivors a place to grieve, honor, and remember their loved ones," said county prosecutor's Detective Sgt. Chris Kelley, president of the traffic officers association.

Organizers will "shine a spotlight on these senseless tragedies -- and by doing so, eliminate future incidents and spare other families the grief that those in attendance face every day," Kelley said.

"It is also our way of letting the family members who are left behind know that they are not forgotten -- and that their local police officers are not wavering in the effort to combat this totally preventable loss of life," the sergeant added.

"Lastly, it is our hope that those who attend, and the community at large, will have a better understanding of the impact drunk driving has on us all," he said. "There are no excuses for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

During the ceremony "we will hear from people who have experienced the tragedy of losing a close family member first hand," Kelley said. "We will also have some high-ranking law enforcement personnel speaking about the efforts that police officers throughout Bergen County are undertaking to combat this tragedy.

"We anticipate representation from most, if not all, of the police departments in Bergen County, as well as state and county dignitaries who plan on attending to join us during this solemn event."

The vigil begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 at 2 Bergen Plaza.

"We encourage survivors who have not attended in the past to come and help us keep the memories of their loved ones alive," Kelley said.

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