"That was a long time ago, like 30 pounds ago," DeJesus laughed.
But when DeJesus heard that the Police Department was rallying their support for the annual Torch Run to raise money for the New Jersey Special Olympics, DeJesus was ready to run just a little bit more.
"The Special Olympics are a special cause for our PBA (Police Benevolent Association)," DeJesus said. "We wanted to be able to raise as much money to help them. So when they were looking for volunteers to help out, I decided that I was going to go all the way."
DeJesus decided that he was going to pledge himself to run the entire 16-mile course of the Torch Run from the start in North Bergen to the finish line in Newark.
The annual run encourages police officers to carry the torch in their respective municipalities, from North Bergen through Guttenberg, West New York and Union City, into Weehawken and Hoboken and from Jersey City into Newark. Eventually the torch is brought to Trenton.
The whole 16 miles DeJesus said that he had done a lot of work on the treadmill - "about the equivalent of two miles a day," he said - but nothing to compare with 16 miles.
"People knew that I was attempting to go the whole distance," said DeJesus, who has been a member of the North Bergen police department for the last four years. "They were encouraging me. I didn't know whether or not I was going to do it. The furthest I went before was last year."
But that was only until 32nd Street in Union City from the beginning of the run in North Hudson Braddock Park. This time, DeJesus was really put to the test.
"I have a cousin in New York who participates in Special Olympics and I know how important it is to him," DeJesus said. "So there was a personal motivation for me to run."
Sure enough, the determined officer made it through each of the grueling 16 miles. "Going over those last two bridges [from Jersey City to Newark] was tough, but if I made it that far, I had to be dedicated to finish the run," DeJesus said. "Not many people can say that they did the complete route. It's definitely a good feeling to be able to contribute to the cause."
According to event organizer Lt. Robert Dowd, more than 30 members of the North Bergen police department volunteered their time to participate in the run inside North Hudson Braddock Park earlier this month.
Each officer that runs solicits sponsors that enable him to donate to the Special Olympics.
"This is the 20th year that we've been helping out," said Dowd, who took over the duties of organizing the event from a police standpoint from long-time organizer Frank Pinto. "It's a long-standing tradition in the police department. Everyone wants to get involved."
This year, members of the North Bergen High School track team joined the police in both running with the torch and helping with the fundraising.
"Coach [Yael Martinez] came out with about 20 kids and they really helped out," Dowd said. "It was a nice cooperative effort."
As of press time, the North Bergen police had raised more than $2,000 from the Torch Run, but Dowd said that they are still soliciting donations to help the cause.
"The Torch Run is a year long fundraising effort," Dowd said.
Sponsorship donations can be mailed to the North Bergen Police Supervisors Union at P.O. Box 405, North Bergen, NJ 07047. Please make donation checks payable to New Jersey Special Olympics.