Coffee with a Cop Community Service Awards in Trenton

Coffee with a Cop Community Service Awards in Trenton

Agent Michael Pelligrino, center, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, talks with Trenton police officers. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Many towns across the country hold small, informal “Coffee with a Cop” events, but in Trenton it’s big.

Freddie and Rosa Rosado, owners of a McDonald’s in the city where they were both born and raised, are all about the local community. So they routinely fill the seats in their restaurant, located across the street from Trenton Central High School, with first responders and their friends and families for the presentation of their Coffee with a Cop Community Service Awards.

The Rosados also created the Detective Pablo Santiago Memorial Award, named for the Mercer County Sheriff’s Officer who took his own life on December 26, 2018. Remembering Santiago ( a former community service award winner) in her remarks, Rosa Rosado said “He was a person who was all about giving back to the community. A total role model. The definition of community service is his name.”

Mercer County Agent Michael Pelligrino, center, was presented the Detective Pablo Santiago Memorial Award. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Mercer County Agent Michael Pelligrino had worked closely with Santiago in various capacities. In accepting the award, he  remarked, “I was told by a noble man one time that the two most important days in your life are the day that you are born, and the day you find your purpose.”

Pelligrino is the state’s first Resiliency Officer part of a new statewide initiative meant to focus on police department mental health.

He continued, “When Pablo passed away, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t walk into my office and I know what my purpose is.” And my purpose is very simple. And that’s to facilitate people in self-discovery so that they can flourish.

“And that’s my goal for each and every law enforcement officer, every first responder and every person I come into contact with.”

(Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Trenton Firefighter Alisa McNeese, right, talks with members of family members of deceased Mercer County Detective Pablo Santiago. In November of 1995, McNeese became the city’s first female firefighter. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Trenton Firefighter Alisa McNeese, right, holds her award while Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer says a few words (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Trenton Firefighter Emanuel Guerra speaks after receiving his award. In back from left are Rosa and Freddie Rosado, (Guerra) East Ward Councilman Joseph Harrison and Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

From left, Trenton Police Detectives Herbert Flowers and Walter Rivera stand to receive their awards. In back are Fire Director Derrick Sawyer and at right, Mayor Reed Gusciora. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Two (uniformed) Mercer County Sheriff’s Officers, George Dzurkok III, left and Matthew Sickler, right, pose with their awards. With them from left, McDonald’s co-owner Rosa Rosado, East Ward Councilman Joe Harrison, (Dzurkok) Trenton Fire Director Derrick Sawyer, Mayor Reed Gusciora, (Sickler) and Mercer County Undersheriff Robert James. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

McDonald’s employee Anyeli Runaldo offers refreshments to those in attendance. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

From left, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri with Agent Michael Pelligrino, who was presented the Detective Pablo Santiago Memorial Award. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

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Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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