SOPD and PBA Conduct December Toy Drive

By SO Police Dept.

The South Orange PBA Local 12 along with the SOPD Superior Officers’ Association have teamed up to deliver new, unwrapped toys during the month of December. They want everyone to know that the police station lobby will be open for the toys to be dropped off right up until Christmas Eve.

They will be collecting NEW and UNWRAPPED toys for children in need.

The toys can be dropped off in the front lobby of the South Orange Police Headquarters, 201 South Orange Avenue, South Orange.

Help make the holidays special for children who can use some help!

SOPD Launches Annual Turkey Giveaway

By SO Police Dept. and the CPC

The South Orange Police Department, PBA Local 12, & The South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education Parenting Center is having a Turkey Drive on Saturday November 19th, 2022 at 11:00am.

According to PBA President, Chris Cherry, the PBA is contributing 50 turkeys. Come to the rear of the SOMA Board of Education Building at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood at 11 a.m. this coming Saturday to take part in this great event!

South Orange to Honor Two Heroes on Veterans Day

By SO Village

The Township of South Orange Village invites everyone to come to Meadowland Park this coming Friday, November 11 and join family and friends as they place a plaque for Major Dwayne M. Kelley and Lance Corporal Edward “Augie” Schroeder who both lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Village administration notes that this plaque placement is an important part of ensuring that these heroes are not forgotten.  The ceremony will take place at 10:00 am on Veterans Day at the Memorial Rock at the South Orange Duck Pond in Meadowland Park.

Lance Corporal Edward “Augie” Schroeder (April 10, 1982 – August 3, 2005) was a member of the United States Marines, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, and was a Columbia High School Graduate, Class of 2000.

Major Dwayne M. Kelley (May 25, 1960 – June 24, 2009) was a member of the United States Army Reserve 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion and was a Detective Sergeant First Class with the New Jersey State Police.

The ceremony will be held rain or shine and the Village invites everyone to join them in this dedication.

CPC Offers Heartfelt Condolences at the Loss of Maplewood Police Chief Jimmy DeVaul

By South Orange Community Police Collaborative

The South Orange Community Police Collaborative extends its sincere and deepest condolences to the family of Maplewood Police Chief Jimmy DeVaul, who passed away on October 21, 2022. We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to all of his colleagues, friends and community members in our neighboring town.  Chief DeVaul served the Maplewood Police Department since 1993. He was a son of SOMA as a 1987 graduate of Columbia High School. He will be missed.

Community Day is Sunday Oct. 2nd, 1-3 pm at the Duck Pond/Skate House!

South Orange Village invites you to the Skate House at Meadowland Park on Sunday, October 2nd for Community Day (formerly Newcomers Day)! Please bring the family! There will be tables from various local organizations, giveaways, and live music.  It’s like a block party for our Village in the park. You can meet local officials and department heads, sign up for organizations if you wish, listen to live music, enjoy food and refreshments, with activities for all. The CPC and SOPD will have tables, so come on by and talk with us!

When:  Sunday, October 2nd

Time:  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (with 2:00 pm Newcomers Meet & Greet Event)

Where:  Meadowland Park Skate House by the Duck Pond (Rain Location: SO Public Library)

Hope you can come!

New Officers Sworn In and Two Promotions at BOT Meeting

By the SO Police Dept. and CPC

Seven new South Orange Police officers were sworn in, and two officers were promoted at the SO Board of Trustee’s Meeting on Monday, August 22nd. Village President Sheena Collum congratulated the group remotely and SO Police Chief Ernest Morello shared stories about each of the officers as they were introduced. The entire ceremony can be seen on the Village website at this link.

Officers Richard Lombardi and John Niedzinski were both promoted to lieutenants. Lombardi is a 2013 graduate of FIT and Niedzinski is a graduate of Penn State.

The seven patrol officers that were sworn in all have previous law enforcement experience and come from diverse backgrounds in other municipalities. They are Sean Walker, who grew up in Maplewood, John Espana, who is from Newark and Mexican-American descent, Jhonn Alvarado moved to Newark from Peru at age nine, Randy Romero is from the Dominican Republic, Joi Lapez, is working on her Master’s Degree and is the first officer from Puerto Rico, Ryan Naturale is from Livingston and Jonathan Plaza is also from Newark with years of experience.

As Chief Morillo noted in his remarks “Police are the community and the community are the police”. A photo of the individual officers accompanies this article.

Congrats to all!

Crossing Guards Needed – Pay Increased

by South Orange Police Dept.

SOPD currently has open school crossing guard positions and guess what, we’ve increased our starting pay to $23.00/hr! Join us, pass this along to someone who may be interested and of course, share to your social media & Facebook groups to help us spread the word!

The South Orange Police Department is looking for dependable adults to fill part time and per diem School Crossing Guard positions. Your duty would be to ensure the safety of children and other pedestrians as they cross the street before and after school. While wearing your safety vest, you will check for oncoming traffic, step into the road, and direct vehicles to come to a stop before instructing people to cross. Although this job requires minimal hours, you must be comfortable working outdoors in various types of weather. You will need your own vehicle, cell phone and meet other requirements. Our guards work approximately 10 hours per week, (2 hours per day, Mon-Fri) Starting pay is $23.00 per hour and all necessary equipment is provided. If interested, contact aacevedo@southorange.org for details.

National Night Out is Tuesday, August 2nd!

by South Orange Police Dept. and CPC

The South Orange Police Department, PBA Locals 12 and 12A and the Village of South Orange are inviting everyone to participate in National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2nd. The event will take place from 4 pm to 8 pm at Flood’s Hill in South Orange, followed by a movie screening. The Community Police Collaborative and other local organizations will have information tables for the public to obtain more information about their groups.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. It also enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

Across America, millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods can also host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

We hope that you will come out join us on this amazing National Night Out!

Dial “988” Mental Health Hotline is Up and Running

By the South Orange Police Dept., the CPC and CC&J

People experiencing a mental health crisis now have a new way to reach out for help in the U.S. as of July 16, 2022: they can simply call or text the numbers 9-8-8.

The South Orange Police, Community Care & Justice, the CPC and the Village of South Orange encourage residents to utilize this hotline and spread the word.

Modeled after 911, the new three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has been designed to be a memorable and quick number for people who are suicidal or are having any kind of mental health crisis and connects them with a trained mental health professional.

Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services spoke at a recent press briefing. “If you are willing to turn to someone in your moment of crisis, 988 will be there,” he said. “988 won’t be a busy signal, and 988 won’t put you on hold. You will get help.”

The Biden administration has invested more than $400 million into beefing up crisis centers and other mental health services to support the 988 system. The primary goal of the new number is to make it easier for people to call for help. Lawmakers and mental health advocates also see this launch as an opportunity to transform the mental health care system and make care easily accessible everywhere in the United States.

Save the Date – National Night Out is August 2nd!

by South Orange Police Dept. and CPC

The South Orange Police Department and the Village of South Orange are excited to announce that they will be participating in National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2nd.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. It also enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community, and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

Across America, millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods can also host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

We hope that you will join us on this amazing night!