Hoboken’s Most Diligent Detective
NJSPBA members mourn the unexpected loss of Mario Novo
Hundreds of NJSPBA members and officers throughout the state in full dress uniforms stood side by side outside the Holy Family Church in Union City. Synchronously, they presented arms to honor Mario Novo, a Hoboken police detective and Local 2 member.
Novo, who came on in 2003, unexpectedly passed away on Dec. 13, 2021. He would have celebrated 20 years on the job next year. He is survived by his wife, three children, his mother and a brother.
As word came of Novo’s passing, the Bayonne Police Department’s Pipe and Drums acknowledged the sudden loss at the Hudson County Chiefs of Police dinner by performing “Amazing Grace.”
On Dec. 14, flags in Hoboken were lowered and flown at half-staff, as the city and police department mourned the loss of the exceptional member. Hudson County Commissioner Anthony Romano, a retired captain of the department, described Novo as a colleague who “always had your six.”
Local 2 President Marc Marsi worked on multiple cases with Novo. He hailed Novo as a ferociously diligent detective who never stopped looking for answers to solve a case.
“His dedication to the job and his diligence as a detective were something I’ve never seen before,” Marsi praised. “There are stories of him coming in on his days off just to make sure he got the right description of a building for a search warrant or the right plate number on a vehicle.”
Novo, 52, wasn’t just a decorated detective with numerous accolades including a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Award, Investigative Service Award and Exceptional Service Award. His impact on his colleagues stemmed from being the kind of co-worker and friend who always did everything in his power to help in any way.
In fact, Marsi believes Novo epitomized the meaning of generosity. When Hoboken Detective Madhu Chohan passed away after battling a brain tumor in 2013, Novo went above and beyond the call of duty to take Chohan’s daughter and family members under his wing.
“There wasn’t a birthday that didn’t pass, a graduation that he didn’t organize us all going to, for [Chohan’s] daughter,” Marsi recalled. “There are generous people out there, but this guy was the embodiment of it.”
Novo was always available to lend a hand, but he never wanted any recognition. When the Local held a fundraiser for a retired officer’s father who had suffered a fatal car crash, he specifically asked not to be named when matching an $8,000 donation.
“Mario secretly took the organizer to the side, took $8,000 out of his pocket and said, ‘I want to match this. And please don’t tell anybody. Just make it known that the total was $16,000,’” Marsi shared. “So this is the kind of guy he was. This is who we lost.”
Memories and stories about Novo were shared among his family, friends and brothers and sisters in blue at the funeral. Marsi affirmed that the Local will now take Novo’s family under its wing because that’s what Novo would have done.
“We never forget. Our members are not our co-workers, they’re our brothers and sisters,” Marsi confirmed. “Unlike any other profession, we really are a family, and we adhere to that in every aspect of what we do.”