Major Gerald Lewis, commanding officer of the New Jersey State Police Office of Community Affairs, has been honored for the second time in two months with prestigious awards by New Jersey chapters of the NAACP.
On Friday, Nov. 30, Major Lewis received a rare honor when the Southern Burlington County NAACP chapter named their Community Service Award after him, and then gave out the first annual Major Gerald Lewis Jr. Community Service Award to an organization.
In October, Major Lewis received the President’s Award at the annual Gloucester County NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. That award is the capstone of the yearly event that honors the significant contributions of a select few people.
Both county chapters cited Major Lewis’ tireless outreach work to ensure that the State Police received good representation from all minority groups in the recent trooper application process. That process resulted in the largest and most diverse group of applicants to ever submit applications. Additionally, the major brokered crucial meetings between law enforcement and the Islamic community following revelations of surveillance by the NYPD.
“One of my goals has been to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the various communities with which we interact. I am both honored and humbled by receiving these two prestigious awards from the Gloucester County and Southern Burlington County branches of the NAACP,” said Major Lewis.
“Too often we wait for someone to pass before we honor them with an award namesake. However, we wanted the recipients of this award to know and see a legend in the flesh. Major Lewis' entire professional life has epitomized service to the community, and we will declare his efforts every time we hand out this annual award,” said Dr. Ken J. Gordon Jr., president of the Southern Burlington County NAACP.
“Major Lewis has built a relationship of trust and consistent responsiveness with our organization. He has worked very hard to open new channels of communication with all New Jersey communities. In our eyes, he represents the very best of what a trooper can be,” said Loretta Winters, president of the Gloucester County NAACP.
Major Lewis, 49, entered the State Police in 1987 as a graduate of the 109th class. He was previously the Division’s Director of Communications and has received two State Police honors: the Meritorious Service Award for the apprehension of a dangerous carjacking suspect, and a Certificate of Commendation for saving a choking victim by rendering first aid in a restaurant. He resides in Middlesex County with his wife and three children.