The Detective Melvin Vincent Santiago Foundation was established in 2014 in memory of my son, fallen Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Vincent Santiago who was tragically killed in the line of duty on July 13, 2014 (posthumously promoted to detective). We are a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Our mission is to promote a positive police image, while improving lives by bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community through acts of goodwill and charitable giving.

I ask that you make a commitment to support our annual appeal by making a tax-deductible donation.

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Carrying on Mel’s legacy is very important to me and I know there is no better way to do so then to help those in need in our community, the community in which he lived and so proudly served. Thank you in advance for your generous and continued support.

Detective Melvin Vincent Santiago

Melvin was born June 28, 1991. He was 6 months old when he was diagnosed with severe asthma, having to stay in the hospital on many occasions throughout his toddler years, but through it he was such a happy baby. With all he endured he never let it slow him down. Mel still walked through life happy, humble, eager to learn new things, confident (even when he was unsure), and always athletic. Mel was kind, compassionate, funny and loyal. He loved his family. He learned to ski at 5 years old and hit the slopes like a little pro!

He was 10 years when his little brother Alex was born. He was so happy to have a sibling and was an awesome big brother always playing, teaching and nurturing Alex. Mel was about 11 years old when he started to grow out of the asthma. By 13 he was playing on his schools flag football team.

When Mel started high school at Create Charter High he played as many sports as possible while maintaining great grades. He was on several different teams including Baseball, bowling and soccer. He made “All County” for goalie in soccer several years. Mel also became “scuba certified “ in high school. Upon graduating high school at 18 Melvin took the police test and scored a 97.325!!

He started college in the fall majoring in criminal justice, but couldn’t wait until he could become a Jersey City Police Officer. Melvin wanted to be a police officer since he was 3 years old just like his Uncle Frank who was like a father to him and who also served on the Jersey City Police Department. When he was 3 he would put on his Uncle Franks police boots and coat and run around the house! His dream was to work in the West District (just like his Uncle Frank). Melvin's Uncle Joe is a retired JCPD Detective and his Uncle Vince is a SOG Member with Hudson County Correctional Facility. Melvin had strong role models in his life and always dreamed of being a police officer.

When he started the police academy in July, 2013 at 22 years old he was elated to fulfill his dream. Upon graduation he chose to work in the west district. Melvin wanted to make a difference. He wanted to help make a change, make the streets better, the community better and the city better for his family, his brother Alex and everyone. He went in the projects and played basketball with the kids, showing them cops are not the bad guy. He would stop to speak with the elderly, the homeless, the emotionally disturbed. Melvin didn’t judge. He had compassion and respect for everyone.

Melvin only had 7 short months on this earth as a police officer but he made a world of difference and left a lifelong impact on so many people and his story continues to touch people from all over. Melvin will never be forgotten and his legacy will always go on. He was senselessly and viciously taken. Our lives forever changed. As his mother my heart is shattered and we will always feel incomplete. If Melvin was here he would help as many people as possible, that is why we started his foundation. Melvin was an amazing, amazing man. We never want his memory, his legacy, nor his compelling life story to be forgotten.

About The Foundation


The Detective Melvin Vincent Santiago Foundation was established in 2014 in memory of my son, fallen Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Vincent Santiago who was tragically killed in the line of duty on July 13, 2014 (posthumously promoted to detective). We are a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Our mission is to promote a positive police image, while improving lives by bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community through acts of goodwill and charitable giving.

While we are a young organization, we have hit the ground running. For three years in a row, we have assisted families during the holiday season. In December of 2015, our Foundation assisted approximately 90 children by fulfilling their entire Christmas lists! In December 2016, our Foundation held our first annual children’s Christmas drive. We were humbled to have had the opportunity to fulfill entire Christmas lists for over 50 children including toys and clothing! We also provided a gift from Santa to over 128 foster children and children with disabilities. This past Christmas, our Foundation fulfilled entire Christmas lists for 75 children! We also provided a gift from Santa to over 200 children.


At Thanksgiving of 2016, our Foundation hosted our first annual Thanksgiving food drive. With the help of generous donations and great community support, we were able to provide 250 families in need with turkeys and food baskets, which afforded them the opportunity to prepare a complete Thanksgiving dinner in the comfort of their own home. This past Thanksgiving, our Foundation provided 350 families in need. Our Foundation also purchased a stove for a Kearny, New Jersey Senior Citizen.

This past June we hosted 70 Senior Citizens at our first annual Senior Appreciation Luncheon. We also donated laptop/tablets and a charging cart to St. Anthony High School in Jersey City to help students with their studies in September of 2016. We are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season and growing our Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday drives. We know it would be impossible to achieve our goals without the generous support from businesses and individual donations. With the assistance of community-minded individuals like you, we will be able to continue serving those in need in our community.

On behalf of the Detective Melvin Vincent Santiago Foundation, I ask that you make a commitment to support our annual appeal by making a tax-deductible donation. Carrying on Mel’s legacy is very important to me and I know there is no better way to do so then to help those in need in our community, the community in which he lived and so proudly served. Thank you in advance for your generous and continued support.
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