It’s Autism Awareness Month! Join the SO PBA to Help Benefit Nassan’s Place!

By SO Police Dept and the CPC

South Orange Police PBA Local 12 is again supporting Autism Awareness. This year they are selling LIMITED EDITION police autism Tee Shirts to help benefit Nassan’s Place, a local non profit organization that is helping make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by autism by providing educational and recreational programs, social outings and resources to families in need.

  • Short sleave, long sleeve and sweatshirt sizes are available as well as youth sizes
  • Simple online ordering. Go to to SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!!
  • Pick up your order starting on May 11, 2023, 9 am to 5 pm at the South Orange Police Headquarters (201 South Orange Avenue)

Please purchase a Tee Shirt for yourself or for a friend and join us in supporting children and families affected by autism!

It’s Crossing Guard Appreciation Week!

By SO Police Dept. and the CPC

This is the week to give some love to the crossing guards who help us and our kids stay safe in South Orange and Maplewood. “Walk Bike Ride South Orange” along with JESPY House, Inc. and the South Orange and Maplewood Police Departments are pleased to announce SOMA Crossing Guard Appreciation Week from February 21 – 24!

They are providing gift cards to all the guards who are out there in good weather and in bad, helping to make our streets safer for youth and adults alike.

These organizations ask that you please join them in recognizing the generous service of our crossing guards in South Orange and Maplewood. Please help these guards out if you can with a token of appreciation such as a card, a sign, a hot drink, a treat, or just say thanks to them for the work they do.

SOPD Winter Coat Drive is Underway

By SO Police Dept.

This is a release from the SOPD:

South Orange Police Department PBA & SOA are once again hosting a Winter Coat Drive to help the less fortunate keep warm during the winter months. We are asking for your help!!! Make room & clean out your closets. We are accepting unsoiled used and new coats for adults and children.

Donated coats will be distributed to local residents and charities. Your donated coats can be dropped off at South Orange Police Headquarters in the front lobby. Coats will be distributed on Saturday January 28th, from 9am-1pm, at the Sloan Street Gazebo.

The SOPD Headquarters is located at 201 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079. The Sloan Street Gazebo is located next to the traffic circle by the South Orange train station. Please donate any gently used and new coats for adults and children!

SOPD Gives Tips for Keeping Your Deliveries Safe

By SO Police Dept. and CPC

The South Orange Police Department encourages everyone to be aware of packages and presents on doorsteps and to take steps to monitor and keep them safe for yourselves and your neighbors during this holiday season. They have issued the following tips for residents.

  • Have packages delivered to your workplace or a business drop off/pick up.
  • Track your items when the information is available, to know when they are due to be delivered.
  • If you will not be home to receive your package, ask a neighbor to watch for the delivery vehicle & give them permission to take possession of the item until you return.
  • Avoid letting deliveries sit out in the open on your porch or at your front door. Ask the delivery company to place items in inconspicuous areas, such as back door area or behind fixtures or plantings where they cannot be readily observed from your sidewalk or street.
  • Consider adding a surveillance device to catch deliveries when they occur, so that you can notify a neighbor to help you or to help catch a thief in the act of taking parcels.
  • Be alert to vehicles that pass by your home several times in a short period of time. Many thieves case the neighborhood before they act.
  • Weather is not a factor; don’t believe that the cold will keep thieves away.
  • Many people do not hear or see what is happening outside their front door. Be a good neighbor, when a delivery truck stops outside their home, inform them. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your property as well.
  • Keep your doors locked, even when you are home.

The SOPD and CPC wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!!

Attached is a flyer with information for you to share.

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!