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Bridgeton police officer who died last year to be honored at Newark 'Blue Mass'
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Bridgeton police officer who died last year to be honored at Newark 'Blue Mass'

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Sean Peek, the Bridgeton police officer who died last year after attempting to rescue a woman in the Cohansey River, will be remembered next Thursday during the 28th annual Blue Mass in Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The Blue Mass is a tradition of the Archdiocese of Newark that pays tribute to active, retired and deceased members of New Jersey law enforcement.

The Mass will be celebrated by Newark Archbishop Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin. Hundreds of members of law enforcement and supporters are expected to attend, including honor guard units, bagpipers and drummers.

Peek is one of four officers killed in the line of duty to be recognized at the Mass. The other three are Detective Joseph Seals of the Jersey City Police Department; U.S. Capitol Police Officer and New Jersey native Brian Sicknick, who died during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot; and Officer Michael Teel of the Port Authority Police Department.

Additionally, 31 officers who died from COVID-19 will be acknowledged, and 37 Port Authority officers killed during 9/11 will be honored to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

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Peek, 49, of Millville, died Sept. 6, 2020, at his home, hours after being treated at a local hospital following a rescue attempt of a suspect who went into the Cohansey River.

Peek, a 15-year-veteran of the department, was dispatched to a call about 1:30 that morning for a report of someone striking an ambulance with an unknown object as it left a facility on Mayor Aitken Drive, police said. The officer saw a woman running near the bridge on Washington Street, when she either fell or jumped into the river.

“Sean made a decision as would any officer and entered the water in an attempt to pull the person from the running waters no matter what the circumstances,” Bridgeton police Chief Michael Gaimari said in a statement.

The woman made it to the other side of the river, but Peek had a hard time returning to shore because he was still wearing all of his gear, the chief said.

Responding officers assisted Peek, who was treated at the scene and taken to Inspira Health Center Bridgeton for evaluation. He was released from the hospital and sent home until he could be cleared to return to work.

He was found unresponsive that morning by family members.

Contact John Russo:


Twitter: @ACPress_Russo


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Digital producer

I graduated from Rowan University in 2011 where I studied journalism. I covered local high school and college sports at the South Jersey Times and Vineland Daily Journal. I have been a sports reporter with The Press since July 2013

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