- The Premier Italian American Newspaper Since 1931 -
Retired Fire Chief Bob Caruso

Honoring Belleville’s American Heroes

On May 11, the Belleville Chapter of UNICO, the Federation of Italian American Societies of New Jersey (FIASNJ) and the Tri-City Italian American Civic Association (TCIACA) will sponsor an Awards Breakfast honoring Belleville Police Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. This event will be held at 10:00 am at The Chandelier in Belleville.

Lawn signs supporting police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Technician will be distributed at the breakfast by UNICO Chapter President Manny Alfano, Pat Meola President of the FIASNJ and Charlene Borino, President of the TCIACA, who hope that everyone will proudly display the signs supporting the town’s heroes.

Those being honored include Belleville Police Officers Anthony Avino, Angelo Liloia and John Mailot, as well as Belleville Fire Chief John Olivieri and retired Fire Chief Bob Caruso.

On October 16, 2018, Officers Lilioa and Avino conducted a motor vehicle stop on a vehicle that had no visible license plate.  During the stop, officers detected the strong odor of raw marijuana and conducted a search of the vehicle, along with Officer Mailot, who had arrived on scene. During the search, the officers observed the vehicle’s door panel had been tampered with. Officer’s removed the loose panel and recovered a large bag of marijuana and heroin. Further investigation revealed that the rear passenger door was also manipulated. A search was conducted and a handgun was recovered. The suspect was charged with numerous narcotic offenses, including possession and distribution of marijuana and heroin. The suspect was also charged with possession of a weapon and U.S. currency was seized due to the incident.

Fire Chief John Olivieri began his career as a Belleville Firefighter in March 1999, serving the department for 20 years as he rose through the ranks. He is a hands-on visionary and is the recipient of a Valor Award for actions during Hurricane Floyd.

Chief Caruso was born and raised in Belleville, joining the Fire Department in 1981. During his 38-year career, he served the community as a firefighter-EMT, training officer, fire inspector, company officer, shift commander and finally as the Chief of the Department, where he held the highest rank for more than 25 years.

The Italian American organizations ask that the Belleville community join them in showing support for the police, firefighters and first responders. The donation for this event is $35.00 per person. For more information and tickets contact Gene Antonio at 973-759-9259 or email: [email protected]. Checks should be made payable to: Belleville UNICO.