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NJ officer dies of COVID-19

Police Officer Alex Ruperto, 52, died Thursday

By Ron Zeitlinger
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

UNION CITY, NJ — A veteran Union City police officer has died of complications from the coronavirus Thursday, city officials said.

Police Officer Alex Ruperto, 52, who grew up in the city and graduated from Emerson High School, died Thursday, officials said.

“Alex was kind, patient, soft-spoken and genuine,” Police Chief Nichelle Luster said. “My heart breaks for his family and his UCPD family, especially in ESU as they knew him best.

“It is devastating that his family and co-workers who could not be by his side when he passed. Alex was a good person and an exceptional officer and I know we will all remember him fondly.”

The Glen Ridge resident joined the police force in 1999 and was one of the original members of the Emergency Services Unit. Most recently he was assigned as a detective in the Training Division.

He leaves behind two adult children, Juliana and Alex Jr. Juliana is an employed by the Union City Police Department as a public safety telecommunicator.

“My heart is heavy today after learning of Alex’s passing,” said Mayor Brian P. Stack. “I have always known Alex to be a consummate professional who is competent and compassionate. My thoughts and prayers are with Alex’s family, friends and his fellow officers in the police department.

“I ask at this time that all residents of Union City keep Alex’s family and the Union City Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.”

©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.