Newark Det. Michael Morgan, a native son of Belleville, is being remembered as a very good man, a loving son and a dedicated cop who sought to serve and protect the most vulnerable in the community.
Belleville officials said on the 10th anniversary of the night Det. Morgan was gunned down on November 7 by a gang member, Belleville paid tribute to him.
A street sign renaming Carpenter Street as Det. Michael Morgan Jr. Way was unveiled at an event attended by Mayor Michael Melham and members of the Belleville Township Council.
Friends, family members and members of law enforcement from several surrounding towns joined together at the street corner to honor the man who once said he wanted to be a police officer to “make a difference.”
His mother, Phyllis, attended the ceremony, which included solemn music from the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
Growing up in Belleville, Det. Morgan could often be found playing sports in the township’s streets, lots and fields.
He grew so strong and agile that he went on to play football at New Jersey City University.
His life cut short at just 32 years of age, Det. Morgan fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a cop when he was assigned to Newark’s Second Precinct in 2005.
He served on the Auto Theft Task Force before being promoted to detective and joining the Criminal Gant Intelligence Unit in 2006.
Det. Morgan focused his energies on the Safe City Program that got guns off the street, and his work was featured on the Sundance Channel's “Brick City,” as well as Nat Geo's “Drugs Inc.”
Det. Morgan was shot and killed while off-duty on Nov. 7, 2011, in Paterson.
He was leaving a party when a gang member tried to rob him at gunpoint.
“Belleville will always be proud of Michael Morgan Jr. for dedicating his life and giving his life to keep others safe,” Melham said.
“This street sign will forever serve as a reminder of his courage and dedication to the people he served.”