I’m writing tonight to provide an update on overall community safety and hopefully shed some light on current operations of the Police Department.
The Department began a speed enforcement initiative in March to curb the excessive amount of speeders on the residential streets within the Borough and the major cut through streets that non-resident drivers utilize on a daily basis. Our officers have been diligent in performing radar details multiple times throughout their shift, along these roadways, which are having a positive visible impact on the speeds we have been seeing. This initiative will continue indefinitely as we seek to change the culture of driving within the Borough to one that promotes and fosters safe roadways for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. As residents, I ask that you please play your role in promoting community safety by obeying the posted speed limits and setting an example for others to follow. Together the Police Department and our community members can make a positive and lasting impact!
In April, the Police Department also participated in the statewide-distracted driving enforcement campaign. A $7,000 reimbursement grant was received from the State allowing our Department to deploy additional officers during peak driving times in an effort to combat distracted driving, which is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions nationwide. I again ask that you please assist our Department with overall community safety by utilizing hands free bluetooth capabilities on your mobile devices while driving.
In the days and weeks to come, we will be focusing our attention on additional traffic and pedestrian safety concerns. Several residential streets within the Borough have STOP signs in areas where drivers may feel it is okay to employ a quick glance and go strategy. One such location we have seen this issue is the exit from Lifetime Fitness on Fernwood Road. The glance and go strategy is a dangerous one, which especially puts pedestrians and bicyclists at increased risk. Please pay attention to these posted signs, as we will be addressing violations for the same. Another step towards our goal of overall communal safety.
On March 27, 2023, the Covenant School shooting occurred in Nashville, highlighting the dangers faced in our schools on a daily basis. One week later, we had a scare of our own as we received reports of an armed subject threatening violence on the campus of the University of Saint Elizabeth. A massive law enforcement response ensued in order to search and secure both the University and Saint Elizabeth Academy High School before lifting the University lockdown and reuniting the high school students with their awaiting families. The incident was a stark reminder of how quickly the serene environment of our Borough can become victimized. The FBI recently released a study regarding Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2022. The report details 50 Active Shooter Incidents which was a slight decrease from 2021, however the number of victims in those incidents was significantly higher than those in 2021. While our schools are always considered a target because of the high profile and emotional impact school based incidents incite, the report details that 48% of Active Shooter incidents occur in open air environments like parades, outdoor concerts and shopping centers all of which we enjoy here in Florham Park. I detail this information in today’s post because the report identifies the month of May as the month with the highest number of Active Shooter incidents in 2021. Rest assured, our officers train for Active Shooter response and are equipped for the same due in large part to continued financial support of the Borough's leadership in our training program. However, community members can play a role in helping to prevent incidents from occurring by paying attention to the behaviors of your friends and loved ones and reporting suspicious/changes in those behaviors immediately.
My philosophy has remained consistent during my tenure as Chief of Police: High visibility, proactive patrol as a deterrent to crime, while engaging with the community in an effort to create force multipliers within the same to assist our Department in maintaining overall community safety. The Police are the Community and the Community are the Police!
Chief of Police
May 18, 2023