PEP Officer Gerald "Jerry" Esposito. "It is my belief that God called him, whom I know he loved very much, after a life of kindness, service and example to others." - Friend
By Geoffrey Croft
Gerald Esposito, 65, was found in his home on Pauling Avenue in the Morris Park section of the Bronx Monday by colleagues after he failed to report for work on Sunday.
It is believed he passed due to natural causes.
He had just celebrated his 65th birthday and his ninth year as a PEP officer.
"Jerry" Esposito served in the Battery Park City Command and in Hudson River Park.
A veteran of the United States Navy he served on active duty for two years and eight more as a reservist before he joined the Parks Department as an officer on September 19, 2005, according to Parks'.
"I just started crying," fellow officer Jessica Torres said when she found out.
"He was a very compassionate caring person who went out of his way to help people. He was never confrontational," she said.
Torres, who worked with him at Hudson River Park, was told that when he left work on Saturday he complained about neck and shoulder pain. He died later that night.
"We just saw him. He just turned sixty-five. We were just talking about how there were only four of us left who graduated from the academy together. Everyone left.
"He was just so nice, so humble," she said.
“Gerald Esposito touched many lives during his tenure at Parks and he became an important presence on his post at Battery Park City," the Parks Department said in a statement.
"His love of the City and its history made him a welcome presence for so many New Yorkers. Our thoughts are with Gerald’s family and friends at this time.”
He is survived by a younger brother Phillip Esposito who lives in California.