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Hero Down: Lakewood Police Department Capt. Joseph Goertz Dies Unexpectedly

Whiting, NJ – Lakewood Police Department (LPD) Captain Joseph “Joe” Goertz died unexpectedly on Oct. 31, according to his department.

The 60-year-old captain passed away peacefully at his home, according to his obituary.

Details regarding his exact cause of death were not released.

Prior to embarking on his law enforcement career, Capt. Goertz was a well-known professional bowler, the LPD said in a press release.

He joined the LPD in 1998, and was initially assigned to the patrol division.

Capt. Goertz rose through the ranks during his 23 years of service, and was promoted to the rank of captain in August of 2016.

He also served on the LPD’s Special Response Team during his tenure.

The department recounted an occasion when a fellow officer asked Capt. Goertz how he would like to be remembered.

“Just call me Joe – a dedicated family man that loved his wife, kids and proud to serve the Lakewood Police Community,” he replied. “My rank does not define me.”

The LPD described Capt. Goertz as a “proud family man.”

“His family always came first and he made sure that it was known his best accomplishments in life were being lucky enough to marry his beautiful wife Elena and being a father to four great children,” the department said.

In addition to his wife of 21 years, Capt. Goertz leaves behind his children, 16-year-old Alexa, his 14-year-olds, Joey, Nicole, and Ryan, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his mother, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and one grand-niece.

Capt. Goertz was laid to rest on Friday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lakewood Police Department Captain Joseph “Joe” Goertz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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