By Jason Cohen
Sometimes the police could use a little help. Well, in order to make people feel even safer and form a better relationship with the police, the Florham Park Police announced it is looking for new block captains.
In August 2015, the department launched the Neighborhood Watch (NHW) and currently has 70 Block Watch Captains on 37 streets. The goal is to have a captain on each of its 124 streets.
Chief Robert Treiber spoke with “the Florham Park News” about the block captains and what the position involves.
“Neighborhood Watch counts on citizens to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities, while demonstrating their presence at all times of day and night,” the chief said. “NHW works because it reduces opportunities for crime to occur; it doesn’t rely on altering or changing the criminal’s behavior or motivation.”
The chief explained that some benefits of NHW include a decrease in criminal activity, people feel safer, neighbors become closer, it reduces the risk of becoming a crime victim and ultimately improves the quality of life in the borough.
According to Treiber, residents volunteer to be Block Watch Captains. Each captain is essentially a liaison between the police department and the community. The captain introduces themselves to their neighbors and establishes a way to communicate with them in the event the police department is unreachable.
Some captains create email lists and others use social media to stay in touch with their group. The police department provides training for them, which includes basic information about crime prevention. The chief added that the captains are encouraged to hold block parties to kick off the initiative and police officer attend as well.
“Members of NHW are the eyes and ears of the department,” Treiber said. “They are not law enforcement officers, never are authorized to carry weapons and are advised in their training that they should never take action, but rather notify the police if they observe any suspicious or criminal activity.”
Anyone interested in being a BWC may contact Det. Lt. Joe Orlando at 973-410-5440.
Florham Park Movmeber
Throughout November, numerous businesses, organizations and individuals nationwide participate in No Shave November. No Shave November is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing cancer awareness and asks people to not shave for a month.
The Florham Park Police Department has joined in the fun. Last year it raised $2,500 and so far, $5,130 this year.
Florham Park police officers will donate a minimum of $30 and the Florham Park Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 78 will match their contribution.
To make a donation, go to https://no-shave.org/team/FP_PBA78.