Normally, I would reserve the well-deserved praise for our Robbinsville Township Police Department in this space for August, when “National Night Out” corresponds with “Police Appreciation Week.”
However, in light of last month’s frightening hit-and-run accident involving Ptl. Connor Boyle, it bears repeating that just because we are fortunate to live in one of the safest towns in New Jersey, that does not mean there is not a substantial risk to our officers and other first responders each and every day.
Mercifully, Officer Boyle was able to escape the April 22 incident on Route 130 with, considering the violent and reckless nature of the collision, treatable injuries. As Director of Public Safety, these are the situations that keep me up at night. No traffic stop is ever “routine,” – especially on a road as busy as Route 130.
Our police, fire department and EMS are exposed to harrowing situations on I-195, Route 130, Route 33 and the New Jersey Turnpike almost daily, and the best thing we can do is help them help us by slowing down and moving over when you see a stopped emergency or service vehicle. Passed in 2009, N.J.’s “Move Over Law” requires motorists to make a lane change if you can do so safely. If not, you must slow down and prepare to stop as you move past an emergency vehicle. Failure to comply may result in fines of between $100 and $500.
That sunny Saturday began with “Operation Takeback” – a national initiative that provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The day continued alongside our friends at Everson’s Karate Institute, which hosted “Breakfast With a Cop.” Sgt. Scott Kivet, along with K-9 Quori and K-9 Corbin, put on another informative demonstration detailing how our K-9s work, their importance to the community, and how they keep us safe.
Patrolman Michael Slininger also conducted a drone demonstration, and safely located the decoy placed on one of the outdoor benches at the Robbinsville Township Municipal Building, showing how the device is being implemented to located police targets.
As it was Autism Awareness Month, the RTPD discussed how our S.A.F.E Registry helps community members that are Autistic or have communication disorders. Information on this program is available on its new and vastly improved website at robbinsvillepd.org.
Finally, the RTPD is accepting applications to its 2023 Youth Police Academy June 19 to June 23 at police headquarters for children entering 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade as of September 2023.
Our police administration puts a great deal of care and pride into the academy curriculum, which will allow kids to have a hands-on, fun-filled week. They will get to know our officers and learn just about every aspect of the profession. There will be physical fitness training each morning, followed by instructional sessions - just like a real Police Academy is run!
If you have any questions about the academy, email Lt. Thomas Egan at email@example.com. Applications can be downloaded at robbinsvillepd.org via the “Programs & Community Policing” tab in the “Police Youth Academy” section. Applications must be returned by May 26.
Last but certainly not least, congratulations to Lt. Bill Swanhart on his recent graduation from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Dave Fried is the Mayor and Director of Public Safety for Robbinsville Township.