Written by Mike D'Onofrio
The sound of bagpipes and drums resounded throughout the plaza of Our Lady of Lourdes Friday as scores of police officers hung their heads to mourn the loss of one of their own and a local hero.
West Orange police officer Timothy Groves passed away Sunday after he lost his fight with cancer.
Main Street and the surrounding roads came to a standstill that morning for the officer, who was a lifelong resident of West Orange, was on the local police force for that past 14 years.
Dozens of police cars, motorcycles, fire engines and even horses lined the streets of Harrison and Mississippi avenues and Main Street in front of the church. In addition to the entire West Orange Police Department of more than 100 officer, police departments from across the state came in force, including those from Montclair, West Caldwell, Essex Fells, Tenafly, Manalapan, Patterson, Essex County Sheriffs Office and New Jersey State Police Department.
The funeral lasted for more than an hour and then Groves’ coffin was carried out of the church as the entire West Orange Police Department saluted him.
Officers followed Groves' as he was put into a police pick-up truck lined with flowers and his police bicycle.
According to his obituary in the Star Ledger, as a police offiver Groves was awarded the Life Saving Award, Command Citation-Apprehending Burglary Suspect, 2001 Essex County Valor A Award, 2009 Essex County Valor Scholarship "B" Award, 2009 West Orange Police Officer of the Year, 2010 Essex County "A" Award, and in 2009 the 200 Club Valor Award - Outstanding Action in the Line of Duty among many other community awards.