They gave their lives upholding our tradition of Honor, Duty, Fidelity.
Badge: # 1177
Cause: Auto Accident
Site: I-80 M.P.# 33.6 WB Wharton Boro, Morris Co.
Stationed: Troop "B" Security at Greystone State Hospital, and detached to assist on Lamonaco Task Force
Service Time: 30 years 4 months
Resided: Blairstown, Warren Co.
Lester A. Pagano, Sr. was born on June 30, 1930 in Fort Lee, New Jersey and lived in Blairstown. He graduated from Cliffside Park High School in 1948. Prior to enlisting in the New Jersey State Police, he served in the United States Air Force for two years and for two years in the United States Marine Corps where he was a military policeman.
Lieutenant Pagano enlisted in the New Jersey State Police on December 1, 1952 as a member of the 42nd Class. He was stationed at Troop “B” security at Greystone State Hospital and detached to assist on the Lamonaco Task Force at the time of his death. His service with the New Jersey State Police was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the high principles of the New Jersey State Police. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest medal awarded by the Division of State Police, in 1959.
Lieutenant Pagano died from injuries received as a result of a motor vehicle accident while on duty.
On July 19, 1983 at 12:50 pm, Lieutenant Pagano was traveling westbound on I-80 when his car ran off the left side of the roadway. He struck the guardrail causing the car to flip and to hit a bridge abutment. Lieutenant Pagano was ejected from his vehicle and landed on the roadway next to the troop car. He was taken to Dover General Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival from massive head injuries.
Lieutenant Pagano served 30 years and 4 months with the New Jersey State Police.
He was survived by his wife and five children: two daughters and three sons. Lt. Pagano was 53 years old.