JERSEY CITY (CBSNewYork) – Three Jersey City police officers were promoted Wednesday.

They got high honors for their heroism during the deadly hate crime attack in December.

The police chief says the officers’ quick thinking prevented more people from being harmed.

Watch: Promotion Ceremony For Jersey City Police Heroes

As people scrambled to escape the gunfire that rang through Jersey City on Dec. 10, three Jersey City officers ran straight into the danger.

“I think it’s safe to say had they not done what they did that day, it would’ve been a far worse disaster on Dec. 10,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

The officers asked for nothing in return, but Wednesday they received it anyway.

Officers Kendric Jackson, Mariela Fernandez and Raymond Sanchez were promoted to the rank of detective.

Sanchez and Fernandez were two of the first officers on the scene when the gunmen stormed into a kosher supermarket and opened fire, shortly after killing Det. Joseph Seals.

“Kendric, Mariela and Ray – they ran into danger on December 10 to protect and serve. They didn’t run there to die, but they were prepared to give their lives for all of us. Not because their oath says so, but because of their courage and their valor, for which they are being promoted today,” Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said.

Their heroic actions trapped the shooters inside the kosher grocery store, preventing them from hurting or killing even more people.

Family members of the new detectives say they’re proud, but not surprised.

“I’m just in disbelief of what has happened and I’m just extremely, extremely grateful for Mariela’s actions. I couldn’t be prouder of her,” said her brother-in-law Jimmy Fernandez.

“His whole family, we’re really proud of him,” said Jackson’s sister.

Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy honored the first responders during his State of the State address.

“If ever there was a time to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, it was that day,” Murphy said.

Wednesday, the city showed its pride too, with a deserving award for three officers who never sought the spotlight.

Mayor Fulop says his office is currently working on plans to honor the other heroes involved in the Jersey City shooting. Those celebrations will take place over the next month.


  1. tmillar007 says:

    Immensely deserved, congratulations.

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