2006 Valiant Teamwork Award
When the alert came over the radio “Gunshots in the West District”, almost every police car in the City headed that way. When the second alert said “Officers down,” the EMTs jumped into action. Sirens wailed, tires screeched, men yelled, women cried, and the station reeked with gunsmoke, blood and sweat. It took hours to sort out actions that happened in only seconds.
It started out simple enough. A battered woman sought a restraining order against Corey Harley, her ex-boyfriend, and told the cops where to find him. They patted him down and watched him remove his possessions from her apartment. When he claimed money was missing, they offered to escort him to the District to file a theft report. Separately, the woman also went to the District to sign her complaint.
While both parties were doing their paperwork, police ran a warrant check on Harley and found plenty, including some outstanding weapons charges. They checked with a local judge who suggested Harley be placed under arrest.
Escorting him to a cell, Kirwin and Harmon ordered him to remove his shoes and belt. Lifting his shirt, he reached not for his belt buckle but for a silver automatic weapon tucked inside his pants. He fired. Kirwin went down first, then Harmon. Others in the District began firing and one shepherded the woman and children to safety.
A shot from Meyers knocked the gun out of Harley’s hand and he ran for the door. Frazier, who had been on his way out of the building, spun around as he heard the shots and fired at Harley as he came out.
The bullet that hit Kirwin had lodged in his vest, stunning him and knocking him down, but he was not seriously injured. Harmon, with a severe bullet wound to the stomach, recovered in time. Harley died on the West District steps.
Bennett, a 26-year veteran, grew up in Jersey City but now resides in Bayonne with his wife, Debra, and their 8-year-old daughter, Sophia. An avid Yankee and Giants fan, he has already received 25 awards, including the Medal of Honor, Combat Cross, and Valor Awards from the FOP, POBA, and Honor Legion.
A member of the Honor Legion, Gullace of Jersey City retired after 37 years. He’d received many awards during that time and was vice president of the FOP Honor Guard. He and his wife, Geraldine, are the parents of Michael Jude, Brian, and Karen and the grandparents of Gianna.
Harmon, who now lives in Toms River with his wife, Jovita, and their 10-year-old son, Brian, grew up in Jersey City and joined the Police Department 12 years ago. He had formerly been a Probation Officer. A graduate of St. Aloysius High School, he earned a B.S. in Psychology from Seton Hall University and an M.A. in Psychology from New Jersey City State University. A member of the Honor Legion, he has received several awards for outstanding service.
Although Kirwin grew up in the suburbs and graduated from the County College of Morris, he now resides in Jersey City. He has been a Police Officer for almost three years.
Meyers also has been a Police Officer for almost three years and has received several awards from the Department, the FOP, the Honor Legion and other organizations. A graduate of New Jersey City University, he has been a physical education teacher, coach, and assistant athletic director of St. Aloysius High School.
Serylo, a 25-year veteran of the Department graduated from Marist High School and Rutgers University. He grew up in Jersey City and continues to reside there with his wife, Janet. He previously served as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and a Hudson County Corrections Officer. He is also a Certified Protection Professional with the American Society for Industrial Security and has received many awards during his career.
Frazier grew up in Jersey City where he still resides with his wife, Alice, and their two daughters, Alexis 17, and Alexandria 7. He has been a Jersey City Police Officer for 17 years and was also a Hudson County Police Officer and has received previous awards for his service. He is a graduate of Snyder High School and attended Jersey City State College.
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