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NEW JERSEY TRANSIT POLICE CRISIS OUTREACH OFFICER REUNITES HOMELESS MAN WITH HIS FAMILY
Officer Reconnects Man with His Family after Not Seeing Them in Decades
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2019
NEWARK, NJ – New Jersey Transit Police successfully reunited a homeless man with his family who he hasn’t seen in more than 24 years. New Jersey Transit Police Crisis Outreach Officer Sean Pfeifer was able to locate Jose Lopez’s family in Monmouth County and reconnect him with his two daughters. Lopez also met some of his grandchildren for the first time.
Lopez, 61, a former Long Branch resident, made his way to New Jersey from Miami when was he was discovered in Secaucus Junction Station in early August. Crisis Outreach Officer Pfeifer took it upon himself to get Lopez a free haircut, shave, and new clothes before he was reunited with his daughters.
“Officer Pfeifer went above and beyond the call of duty to help this man and reunite him with his family, and we see this type of dedicated service every day from our New Jersey Transit Police,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “As Officer Pfeifer demonstrated, New Jersey Transit Police do so much more in addition to protecting our customers and employees. They genuinely care for the people in the communities we serve.”
“This story is a good example of the incredible impact and difference our Crisis Outreach Officers can make in someone’s life,” said New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “I commend Officer Pfeifer for his hard work tracking down Mr. Lopez’s daughters, and reuniting their family.
Lopez is currently working with the PATH Program through the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris County to find permanent housing. Lopez spent last weekend living with his daughter in Bradley Beach and enjoyed time with his family.
Timeline of Events
- August 6th: Lopez is discovered by New Jersey Transit Police officers in Secaucus Junction and put on a train to Newark Penn Station to meet with a New Jersey Transit Police Crisis Outreach Officer
- August 13th: Officer Pfeifer leaves dozens of phone message for people in Bradley Beach area in his search for Lopez’s family
- August 14th: Officer Pfeifer receives a message from one of Lopez’s daughters
- August 15th: Lopez receives haircut, shave and new clothes. He is reunited with his family at Newark Penn Station
- August 16th: Lopez travels by train to Bradley Beach to spend the weekend with his daughter
The New Jersey Transit Police Community Outreach Program is operated in connection with social service organizations and the judicial system, giving the homeless and at-risk individuals a one-stop location for direct access to services including healthcare, housing, veterans programs, rehabilitation and other critical resources. It also provides the ability to resolve outstanding issues with the judicial system. The program concept helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and social services to improve the health and well-being of those in need in a community.
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NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 251 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.