N.J. officials honor Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer who died after siege Wednesday

Murphy: Veteran from South River ‘embodied selfless spirit of his native state’

Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police Officer fatally injured during the uprising Wednesday, was a native of South River and a graduate of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools who had a long history of public service. He was 42.

Before joining the Capitol Police, Sicknick was a staff sergeant with the New Jersey Air National Guard. He was a Fire Team Member and Leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst — and his six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.

“United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the Guardsmen and Guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation.”

Sicknick lost his life during one of our nation’s darkest days.

“Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and, by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection,” Murphy said. “His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge), who also hails from Middlesex County, also honored Sicknick.

“Officer Sicknick is a hero who died in the line of duty while physically engaging with violent protesters,” he said. “I mourn the loss of Brian Sicknick and strongly condemn the senseless violence orchestrated by a mob rioting in opposition to the results of a free and fair election.”

Other notes from Friday:

Expanded vaccinations

Murphy and a host of other officials visited the Morris County Regional Vaccination Center to highlight the beginning of New Jersey’s vaccination effort for sworn law enforcement and fire professionals.

All sworn law enforcement and fire professionals in New Jersey are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is estimated to include about 55,000 individuals. These first responders are the first individuals in Phase 1B to become eligible for vaccination. EMS professionals, also considered first responders, are already eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1A, as health care workers.

“Throughout this pandemic, our first responders have continued to save lives and protect our communities, and I am proud today that we are able to provide them with this added level of protection as they continue to do their jobs,” Murphy said. “When we’re ready to move forward, this site will serve as one of six mega sites for the general public to receive their vaccinations. With hundreds of thousands of preregistrations already received, we know there will be a strong demand when that day arrives.”