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Police and Law Enforcement Home    >    Editorials    >    Slain Officer's Wife Needs Help


Police and
Law Enforcement News

Slain Officer's Wife
Needs Help
Police and Law Enforcement News
Tuesday, November 13
, 2007 9:53 p.m.

The New Jersey State PBA deserves nothing less than a standing ovation for their handling of the Elizabeth Bernoskie situation. 

Elizabeth Bernoskie during one
of the court appearances

As you may recall, Ms. Bernoskie was the wife of Rahway Police Officer Charles Bernoskie.  Charles was killed in the line of duty back in 1958 when he interrupted a burglary of a car dealership and was shot dead.  Robert Zarinksy was arrested and charged with killing Officer Bernoskie but acquitted at trial although jury members reportedly said they believed Zarinsky did commit the murder.

Ms. Bernoskie was successful in a subsequent civil suit and managed to collect $154,000 of the multi-million she was awarded, but the case was overturned on appeal, and she was ordered to pay this cretin the full amount plus interest.  Incidentally, Zarinsky is incarcerated for an unrelated murder.

Often in life we must decide how best to approach a situation.  This is not one of those cases. 


There is one thing that needs to be done here, and that is to completely rescue this beautiful woman from any hardship and stress brought on by this case.  Anything less would be catastrophic failure on our part.

When Charles first affixed the shield to his chest whether he knew it or not - he became part of a culture that would take care of his family should something ever happen to him. 

When Charles first affixed the shield to his chest whether he knew it or not - he accepted the responsibility of taking care of the family of one of his colleagues should they fall.

Unfortunately, fate for Charles was the former.

At a time where internal rumblings sometime question today's brotherhood, we're presented not with an imposition but with an opportunity.  No, there is no doubt as to what needs to be done here.

PBA State President Anthony Wieners has stepped in and declared that the State PBA would help raise the money and absorb the costs.

However, this is not solely the PBAs responsibility.  Its much bigger than that.

Charles was a street cop, the backbone of the huge law enforcement machine.

How to Help

Print out this page and bring to the next meeting of your organization.

Anyone wishing to contribute to
Elizabeth Bernoskie can send donations to the NJSPBA's dedicated fund.

Please make all checks payable to 'NJSPBA Survivor & Welfare Bernoskie Fund"

Checks may be mailed to...


Their office may be reached at...
In NJ: 1-888-4NJSPBA
Tel. 1-732-636-8860
Fax. 1-732-636-0172

Coming to the aid of Ms. Bernoskie is the responsibility of every one of us who falls under the umbrella of law enforcement no matter what our specific title may be. 

It's also the responsibility of those who make a living from serving the law enforcement machine including unions, fraternal groups, trade organizations, uniform stores, gun dealers, test preparation companies, software designers, consultants, etc. 

The greatest end to this saddest tale would be if too much money came in for Ms. Bernoskie.  If she were to go from wondering about the procedure for filing bankruptcy to researching tax implications of leaving inheritance to the children of a slain policeman, we will have earned our hero status for the month.

When this debacle is over, hopefully, we can do a story on the individuals, the locals and lodges, and the organizations that stood up and helped the family of this street cop who was was killed way too early some forty-nine years ago. 

God bless Ms. Elizabeth Bernoskie and may Rahway Police Officer Charles Bernoskie rest in peace.


Share you Thoughts on This Editorial

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each night. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission.  Use the scroll box below to submit your thoughts:



Your Responses

It is sad when the justice system fails to provide assistance to a victim of murder especially of a fallen officer.  It is even worse when our system aids the murderer by giving him a right to a civil trial and then granting him monetary payment on a technicality.  Robert Zarinsky is a criminal and a murderer.  Our breathen should due everything we can to help our fallen officer's widow and her family. 

We need to do everything we can to make sure that Robert Zarinsky the murderer of a police officer, never sets foot outside of prison.

You hit the nail on the head. Too often we get caught up in local battles that need to be fought over salaries and healthcare and we forget what the bottom line is. We are a profession that shares a unique calling to serve and protect. We need to always remember those who gave their all.

This woman should have two funds - one to pay the wacko and one to let her know we are thinking about her. She raised six kids by herself after his death. She never remarried and still lives in the house they bought together. She has paid a price for our calling more then most of us will ever. We can make a difference.


I also commend the PBA on the help they want to provide to Ms. Bernoskie. I will bring a copy to my next FOP meeting and present it to all the members.

Good Job PBA.  Hopefully everyone will join in to help Mrs. Bernoskie.  I already printed this out to bring to my local's meeting next week.
Police and Law Enforcement News
Tuesday, November 13
, 2007 9:53 p.m.

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