TRENTON — Legislation to name a portion of Interstate 295 after a New Jersey State Police trooper who was struck and killed last year while on duty on the highway was approved by the state Senate.
Senators voted unanimously Monday to pass the legislation to honor Trooper Sean Cullen by naming the section of the interstate in West Deptford, Gloucester County, where he was killed as "State Trooper Sean E. Cullen Memorial Highway."
Cullen, 31, of Cinnaminson, was struck and killed while at the scene of a vehicle fire March 8, 2016. He is survived by his fiancée and two young children.
Sen. Diane Allen, R-7th of Edgewater Park, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd of West Deptford, sponsored the legislation. Both said Cullen's life was an inspiration for other law enforcement officers and first responders.
"Our community banded together to support his young family after he tragically died in the line of duty. He was our hometown hero and a remarkable role model for new law enforcement officers in this state," Allen said. "Renaming part of Route 295 in his memory is the least we can do to honor his dedicated service to the people of New Jersey."
"Trooper Cullen gave his life in the line of duty serving the needs of others in a courageous act where he made the ultimate sacrifice," Sweeney said. "We ask our law enforcement officers and emergency response workers to put themselves in harm's way, as Trooper Cullen and so many other troopers do every day."
The legislation must still pass the Assembly and be signed by the governor to become law. Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, has sponsored the Assembly version.
Cullen was born in Ireland and moved to the United States at age 3. He grew up in Cinnaminson and graduated from Cinnaminson High School, where he was a standout wrestler.
After college, Cullen began pursuing his dream of a career in law enforcement as a trooper. He initially worked as a special officer in Sea Isle City and Mount Holly, then joined the Westampton police force as a full officer. He served there for two years before enlisting in the state police.