NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today paid his respects to the family of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed this week in the line of duty, and released the following statement:

"It is with deep sadness that I express my heartfelt condolences to the family of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago and the entire Jersey City Police Department during this difficult time. Officer Santiago served his city with honor and gave his life protecting the community he loved. His loss is profound and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.

"Our men and women in blue deserve our appreciation and gratitude. They go to work each day not knowing what dangers they may encounter and face the reality that they may not return to their families at night. Officer Santiago knew people were in trouble that night and did not waiver answering the call. We cannot take that for granted.

"I honor Officer Santiago, his fellow members of the Jersey City Police Department and all first responders across this state who valiantly and heroically protect the residents of New Jersey."