They ask the talk hosts of NJ101.5 to write things for this website. Things we find funny, things we find interesting. But especially things we feel passionately about. I did just that a few days ago after reading of the loss of a young Hillside police officer by the name of Giovanni Esposito.

He was only 30 years old and had been on the job for less than a year after graduating the police academy at the top of his class. He didn't die in any gun battle. In fact he didn't even die while on duty. It was a tragic off duty car accident that killed him. But I wrote about why this young man was a hero in my opinion, which you can read here.

A day later I noticed one of the comments in the comment section. It was from Thomas Hughes, a man who was going to be Officer Esposito's father-in-law. I think it says so much about this officer that I want to make sure you see it, so I'm putting it here.

"Dear Jeff,

Thank you so much for posting such a beautiful tribute to Gio. He was a great guy and loved his job, family and friends. I had the good fortune of knowing Gio as my future son in law. He was a stand up guy. We'd talk about the job and he once told me he saw a young man in a noted drug area whom he had already arrested for drugs. Instead of busting him again he told me he sat for one hour talking to this kid asking him about his family and why he was doing this.

There was so much more to life and he wanted to share that with this young man.

Gio loved his family, his job and my daughter so much. The pride in his eyes everytime we talked about the department and the community was always there. I will miss him terribly along with everyone who knew him."

I was so moved by this. And I was so impressed by the story of Gio's trying to truly protect and serve; trying to give of himself to a troubled guy battling drug addiction rather than just being a rookie cop who's trying to pad his arrest record. This is the very character we need in all police officers. My sincere condolences go out to Giovanni Esposito's loved ones.

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