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Somerset County Sheriff’s detective’s name to be placed at National Law Enforcement Fallen Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

From left: New Jersey State PBA President Patrick Colligan, retired Fanwood Police Sergeant Russ Yeager - holding a picture of his father, Sheriff’s Detective Ronald Yeager - and Somerset County Sheriff Darrin J. Russo stand in front of the Somerset County Law Enforcement Memorial in Somerville.

The name of fallen Detective Ronald James Yeager has been approved for inclusion at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Yeager, a member of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, will have his name engraved on the wall during a ceremony on May 19 as part of National Police Week.

This announcement comes almost 22 years after the detective’s passing during an on-duty motor vehicle accident on July 10, 2000, according to information provided by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Yeager was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at that time. Part of this assignment with being in the Detective Bureau requires carrying an on-call pager.  On the morning of July 10, 2000, Yeager was called in early to process an arrest that had occurred and was in uniform on his way to work. While en route to work, at 7:30 a.m., Yeager’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle that had run a stop sign. Yeager succumbed to the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident and was pronounced dead at 8:39 a.m. at Muhlenburg Hospital, according to the statement.

“My father always answered the call. He knew his duty and professional responsibility. He was loyal, benevolent, cared for his partners and a dedicated police officer to residents everywhere. He spent close to 40 years in uniform between law enforcement and military positions. Most importantly, he was a great family man and loved unconditionally,” retired Fanwood Police Sgt. Russ Yeager, Yeager’s son, said in the statement. “As a second generation cop, I responded that day from my department and he fought to the end. He was my role model and mentor after I started on the job. He is missed every day by those he left behind.”

Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo will honor the fallen detective by riding in this year’s Police Unity Tour taking place the week of May 10. Over 2,000 law enforcement officers from around the country will bicycle over 240 miles to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington. The Police Unity Tour has raised over $15 million to support the memorial fund, according to the statement.

“This will be my 10th year riding in the Policy Unity Tour. While it saddens me to see so many names every year being added to the wall, it gives me great sense of pride to be part of an amazing group of people. The police and those that support the Police Unity Tour not just honor the motto ‘We ride for those who died’ but their efforts give the families and friends of our fallen officers hope, and the tour provides a place that their loved ones can go to always be remembered,” Russo said in the statement.

“Twenty-two years ago my partner, Detective Ronald Yeager, had his life tragically taken. Since then, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office never stopped our efforts to provide the Yeager family to the proper closure they deserved by having Detective Yeager’s death classified as an In The Line Of Duty Death. Now 22 years later that honor has come to fruition, and we would never have gotten to this point without the resilient efforts of New Jersey State PBA President Patrick Colligan, Ron’s son Sgt. Russ Yeager, retired Summit Police Department Chief Andrew Bartolotti and Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo. I look forward to standing alongside of them all when Detective Ron Yeager’s name is finally placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., on May 19,” Undersheriff Tim Pino said in the statement.

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