Much to my amazement, I received a call one day while home from school that a NJ SBI agent wanted to speak with me about my brother. Jerry applied to become a state trooper, passed the written exam and now family and friends had to answer questions about his past. While not a sworn affidavit, needless to say most of us were extremely concerned about the experience. What if they asked about past interactions with local law enforcement, his Catholic school upbringing, or even worse, past girlfriends?!?!?
Somehow Jerry passed through the screening and we didn’t reveal any family secrets. For the next twenty years, Jerry moved from barracks to barracks throughout the state. Never one to sit still, he always looked for ways to enhance his career. Since working on the streets of NJ was not dangerous enough, he worked with the diving crew to assist in accident investigations. Then, with no flying experience at all, he decided it would be a good idea to train as a helicopter pilot.
We had no idea until after his retirement how dangerous flying NorthSTAR really was. As he and his partner, Harm Pump, would later recount, many flights required takeoff and/or landing in inclement weather or in areas where high-tension wires were ubiquitous. With his intense focus on safety and execution, Jerry always knew how to walk that fine line between safety and disaster.
Throughout his police career, he confronted dangerous situations with unruly people. He knew he had to train to protect himself and others so decided to include martial arts in his repertoire.