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Jerry Speziale Kicks Off Campaign for Sheriff, Wins Endorsements from Key Passaic County Labor Leaders

Over 100 Union Members, Community Activists and Passaic County Residents 

Enthusiastically Support Speziale for Sheriff


PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ - Former Sheriff Jerry Speziale, one of the most highly respected law enforcement officials in New Jersey history, officially kicked off his campaign for the Democratic nomination to be Passaic County's next Sheriff on Friday. Speziale immediately secured the support of two of Passaic County’s most influential labor organizations in the Passaic County Building and Construction Trades Council and its President Brian Jackson, as well as the Passaic County Central Labor Council and its President Thomas Kelly. Both highly respected labor leaders spoke at the event in front of a crowd of over 100 supporters, which was held at the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Union, Local 10 headquarters in Haledon. 


Throughout my career, I have remained committed to improving the lives of working families and upholding constitutional policing. My experience, spanning for over four decades, has taught me the importance of compassion, respect, and understanding in serving and protecting all communities, said Speziale. 


Currently serving as Paterson’s Public Safety Director, Speziale started his career in law enforcement as a detective with the New York Police Department in 1983 where he served for 15 years and was shot in the line of duty. He recovered and later joined the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, working undercover to help take down one of the largest and most dangerous Colombian drug cartels. Speziale served three consecutive terms as Passaic County Sheriff from 2002 to 2010. He made the difficult decision not to seek a fourth term in order to take care of his late wife, who was battling cancer. She passed away in 2014. 


Brian Jackson, President of Passaic County Building and Construction Trades, called Speziale an outstanding crime fighter and a compassionate public servant, saying: “Everybody knows Jerry and we are going to work hard to make him the next Passaic County Sheriff.” 


Passaic County Central Labor Council President Thomas Kelly also addressed the crowd, saying: "Jerry Speziale is the man for the job. Electing a pro-labor candidate who will support the right to collective bargaining and help bring economic justice to the workplace is our priority and there's no one who fits the bill better than Speziale. We look forward to rallying our members around a candidate that represents our values." Kelly also confirmed that the Passaic County CLC Committee of Political Education voted unanimously to endorse Speziale and vowed to activate the 25,000 union households in Passaic County to support his campaign. 


Speziale's passion for people has always motivated him. As Sheriff he was an early advocate of true community policing practices, earning him praise and respect from local residents and community leaders. He was also praised for saving taxpayers millions of dollars by seizing and repurposing criminal property and funds for public safety purposes. 


“This campaign isn't about mudslinging; it's about promoting a true leader for Passaic County," said Ernie Rucker, a community activist from Paterson who also spoke at the event. "Let's stay united and focus on our goal: electing Jerry Speziale and the right people into office. I am very proud to endorse my friend and partner, Jerry Speziale, to be the next sheriff of Passaic County." 


The Passaic County Sheriff’s Office is at a critical juncture today after the tragic death of former Sheriff Richard Berdnik. Speziale’s extensive law enforcement experience, his highly successful three terms as sheriff and his demonstrated commitment to equal rights for all people make him the clear choice at a time when the sheriff’s office needs strong leadership.  


“My definition of ‘cop’ is the following: Care of People,” said Speziale during the last few moments of his speech.

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