They were brave. They were dedicated. They were willing to risk their lives in the line of duty.

And sadly, this December, another joined their ranks.

As 2015 comes to a close, we're looking back on the New Jersey State Police officers who died in the line of duty. The photos here are provided by the NJSP, which recalls its fallen in social media posts on the anniversaries of their deaths.

There was Trooper Ronald E. Gray, from Hackensack, who studied journalism before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Cops — he died in a crash in 1958.

There was Trooper Christopher Scales, a lifelong resident of Hamilton who'd been working on a four-person detail to increase seatbelt compliance at the Carteret Toll Plaza of the New Jersey Turnpike in 2002, when he was hit by the rear wheels of a tanker truck as it pulled away from the toll booth and dragged 40 feet.

And just this Dec. 17, there was Trooper Eli McCarson — in his first year on the job and only a few months into his marriage when he died in a single-vehicle accident after responding to a domestic violence call in southern New Jersey.

They're just a few of the NJSP's fallen who died during Decembers. See the gallery above for more on them and others.

Each month, New Jersey 101.5 will revisit the stories of officers who died in the line of duty. See NJ1015.com as each month comes to a close for more.

“Whether it’s facing an armed assailant, or patrolling on a rainy day, troopers and other law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect every member of the public," NJSP Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes. wrote after McCarson's death. "This is a tragic loss for us, made even worse during this holiday season, but I know our troopers will not flinch. They will perform their duties with others in mind, just as Trooper Eli McCarson was doing when he lost his life in the line of duty.

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