Officer Bob Franco was honored for his bravery and heroism at a council meeting Wednesday night.
Franco suffered a severe spinal cord injury when a tree fell on his vehicle during Superstorm Sandy last year. Franco nearly died in the accident and was partially paralyzed. He has since made a steady recovery and can walk.
The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police presented Franco and his family with a check for $25,000 Wednesday.
“On behalf of the association we appreciate everything you’ve done,” said Chief Raymond Hayducka, president of the association. “I want to commend the governing body and the mayor on how you have handled [the situation] with officer Franco. It’s a model.”
The money was donated from an assistance fund the association established for officers injured while responding to Sandy.
“He [Franco] has been an inspiration to all of us,” said Wayne Police Chief John Reardon. “He’s come so far. He’s our miracle man. He’s made such remarkable progress. We’re looking forward to getting him back to work.”
Franco has received donations from people throughout the township and from various organizations since he was injured.
“Every time I turn around another association taking care of me. I don’t know how much more appreciation I have in me. I’m very appreciative and very humbled,” Franco said.