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Ocean Gate Street Name Honors Police Officer Jay Marles

Sign for Patrolman Jay Marles Blvd
Sign for Patrolman Jay Marles Blvd (photo by Ilya Hemlin)

Thanks to the work of a group of students from Ocean Gate Elementary, the memory of police officer Jay Marles will be forever remembered in town.

The students along with Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy unveiled the new street sign renaming West Arberne Avenue as “Patrolman Jay Marles Boulevard” to commemorate the police officer killed a year ago after his shift when a drunk driver hit his vehicle.

The idea was the brainchild of five sixth graders Brendan Lazar, 12, Tyler Tega, 11, Nicole Brophy 11, Katelyn Hanneman, 12, and Morgan Schreiber who moved from the town; who all worked for a year getting the project to where it is today.

On Tuesday, the students cut the ribbon on one of three signs that will be placed on the street.

12 year old Katelyn Hannemann (center) get's help from Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy (left) and Ocean Gate Superintendent Frank Vanalesti (right) putting up the sign for "Patrolman Jay Marles Blv
12 year old Katelyn Hannemann (center) get's help from Ocean Gate Mayor Paul Kennedy (left) and Ocean Gate Superintendent Frank Vanalesti (right) putting up the sign for "Patrolman Jay Marles Blv (photo by Ilya Hemlin)

Superintendent of Ocean County Frank Vanalesti says the students hard work on the project has a resonating positive effect for the community.

“We always teach the kids that any community involvement, everything you give, you get so much back in return.”

Adding that their efforts would have made Officer Marles proud, “[Officer Marles] stood for that. He was not just a police officer, it was 24/7 for him.”

Officer Marles’ sister and father were in attendance of the signs unveiling, still emotional from the death of their brother and son from a drunk driver only a year ago.

Vanalesti hopes the sign will be a reminder that the town will never forget Officer Marles and all he has done.

“We hope we can give them just some solace in showing that we remember and we won’t forget and we care.”

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