Wayne, NJ - Pompton Lakes Police Officer Peter J. Kamper, Jr., was killed in a traffic crash on Wednesday, August 9.
The incident occurred about 12:06 AM, according to NJ.com. Officer Kamper was on his way home after finishing his shift. He was traveling east on Lakeside Avenue when he collided with a deer and was thrown from his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Officer Kamper, who lived in Wayne, had just crossed into Wayne from Pompton Lakes when the crash occurred. Pompton Lakes Police Chief Moises Agosto said that he had just finished a fill-in shift from 7 PM to 11 PM. Nearby residents heard the crash, and ran to help the fallen officer, who they found unresponsive.
When Pompton Lakes Police Officers responded, they discovered it was one of their own. Officer Kamper was transported St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he later died.
Officer Kamper, age 40, was an 13-year veteran of the Pompton Lakes Police Department, and was assigned to the Patrol Division. Chief Agosto said that he was the agency's lead firearms instructor, and helped keep the department compliant with state guidelines. He said that Officer Kamper "was a jack-of-all trades," and that he "was going to be missed dearly".
Chief Agosto said that Officer Kamper's 6'7" height could be "intimidating, but as big as he was, that's how big his heart was." He said that he was in the process of being interviewed for a promotion.
The officer was a devoted supporter of the Special Olympics, and had attended the Special Olympics Games every weekend for years. He also volunteered at the Pompton Lakes-Riverdale First Aid Squad, according to NorthJersey.com.
Officer Kamper also supported the Polar Bear Plunge, which raised money for the Special Olympics. Chief Agosto said, "Pete did a lot of things that people aren't aware of. He was very involved in the community and knew what community policing was all about." He said that grief counselors would be available for officers and staff.
Pompton Lakes Mayor Michael Serra said, "He loved coming to work every day, but on top of that, he put in extra time to do things and help the community. When you sat and talked to him for a while, he had a great personality. Him along with all my other officers in Pompton Lakes spend a lot of time trying to be involved in community policing … All the officers, especially Pete took that very seriously."
Officer Kamper's father was also a police officer, and served as a Sergeant with the Wayne Police Department.
The Wayne Police Department is conducting the investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pompton Lakes Police Officer Peter Kamper, Jr., both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Peter Kamper, your life mattered.