Blue Suicide hits home for JCPD LT. Felix
By Valerie Velazquez-Stetz (Ret) J.C.P.D.
In 1989 Cristino Felix’s dream came true when he became a Jersey City Police Officer. His parents moved to Jersey City from Aibonito, Puerto Rico in the 1950’s. He was born in Jersey City, NJ, where they continued their teachings of mutual respect, civic duty, faith , and love of family. Cristino’s parents provided a solid foundation to carry with him as a young police officer and throughout his life.
Cristino found that helping others was his life’s quest, and to do so, he needed to find a way to accomplish this. While most people would think that working at a soup kitchen or helping the homeless was the road to take, Cristino found boxing was his niche to help those in difficult situations.
Boxing teaches discipline and concentration, and strengthening these qualities can significantly increase one’s life. Cristino combined boxing with Christian morals and teachings. This pairing results in the perfect match to enhance the quality of lives for our youth by building solid moral foundations and optimal fitness levels.
Cristino began his law enforcement career in the West Precinct Patrol Division, known as one of the busiest precincts in the state. In 1993 he transferred to the East District. At this time, Cristino met his wife Carmen and her son Ramon, who was only 6-years old. They had an immediate connection, marrying in 1994, and soon after they had their daughter, Briana. The family bond strengthened over the years through faith, love, respect, and trust.
Cristino’s career continued to advance at a fast pace. By 1997 he was working undercover in the Violent Crimes Unit, and then the Narcotics division in 1999. After many solved cases and multiple arrests, Cristino was assigned to the DEA Task Force in 2000. In 2004 he was promoted to detective in the Major Case Unit and Special Investigations Unit.
Cristino loved his career and the family Carmen, and he had made. Ramon and Brianna were thriving, although Ramon was struggling with weight by the time he reached his teenage years. Cristino constantly encouraged him to get into shape and to learn boxing. Ramon joined the football team in Hudson Catholic High School. He started doing well and became and assisted his father coaching the children at their boxing school. Ramon later decided he wanted to become a police officer, and Jersey City was the department he wanted to work for.
By 2007 Cristino’s career continued to advance. His studying paid off when he was promoted to sergeant and reassigned as the Night Detective’s Commander. Cristino recalled, “As successful as my career was at the time, it was equally important to show my children a good example of a father, husband, and Christian. I made time for them and was always there when they needed me.”
In 2015 Cristino returned to the West District to work as the patrol sergeant. During this assignment Cristino recalls his proudest moment as an officer, which came on March 7, 2017, when Ramon followed in his footsteps and joined the Jersey City Police Department. At the graduation, Cristino pinned his own police badge #2385 on his son.
“We were all so proud,” Cristino said. “My wife and daughter were elated to see Ramon accomplish so much.”
Ramon continued to build his life. Soon after the swearing in, he married his fiancée Chenel. They have two beautiful children Penelope and Dominic. Life was blossoming for the young couple while Ramon was beginning his law enforcement career and continued to train with his father at their Christian Boxing Academy in Jersey City. Ramon put 100% into each workout and the youth who walked through their doors.
Fast forward to November of 2017; Cristino was promoted to Lieutenant and reassigned to the North District as the Executive Officer under Captain Martinez. 2017 looked to be ending very well for Cristino and the rest of the family.
However, as 2018 approached Cristino and his wife Carmen noticed Ramon was not coming around as much. He wasn’t showing up at the Boxing Academy nor their home. They figured Ramon was busy at work—that the career was occupying his time and concentration. They later found out as Ramon was distancing himself from the family, he was secretly spiraling down to a dark place.
On the evening of March 25, 2018, Cristino received a call that Ramon was shot at his home. He thought Ramon was unloading or cleaning his gun and an accident had occurred. But Chenel (Ramon’s wife) revealed that he was shot in the chest. Cristino grabbed his police radio and requested units to the residence because there was an officer shot. The dispatcher told Lt. Felix there were officers already there. Cristino screamed into the radio that the officer was his son. Dispatcher stated that medical personnel were working on him.
Ramon’s life is a reminder to all of us in law enforcement that Blue Suicide can happen in a moments notice, and everyone is vulnerable. Let’s honor Ramon’s life and service, and a family who continues to live a life of truth, justice, and faith. God bless all of them.
Please join the Felix Family along with myself on March 23, for Suicide Awareness with 1st Responders in a ‘Boxing Smoker’ fundraiser event at Hudson Catholic High School. 100% of the proceeds will go to the children of 1st Responders that have died as a result of suicide in New Jersey. Save the date. Contact me at email@example.com if you would like to participate.
Valerie A. Stetz (Velazquez) retired on accidental disability from the Jersey City Police Dept. She was injured in a radio car accident responding to a robbery in progress call. Valerie is a member of the NJ Police Honor Legion. She is the radio host for the popular Internet show “Blue World Uncensored” on DDV RADIO. Valerie is married, with a son and daughter.