GRPD Press Release – EOW Officer Charles Roberts

It is with deep regret and sorrow that I, Chief Sheila Byron-Lagattuta and the entire Glen Ridge Police Department announce the passing of our beloved Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts.  Officer Roberts, badge #69 is the first line of duty death within the history of the Glen Ridge Police Department, established in 1895.  

At the age of 45, Rob fought a courageous battle against COVID 19 and passed away on May 11, 2020 at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.  He had been hospitalized there for just shy of three weeks after members of his own squad and our volunteer ambulance squad came to his aide.  The doctors and nurses at both Mountainside Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital all acted in valor to save his life.

Officer Roberts was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, and joined the Glen Ridge Police Department in 2000. He settled in Glen Ridge, where along with his wife Alice, they raised their three children.  Officer Roberts was the face of the Glen Ridge Police Department and a shining example of an officer dedicated to serving the community.

Officer Roberts worked tirelessly at keeping our community safe and I can say with certainty that he was known by face or name by both children and adults alike after serving the Borough for twenty years. Many were privileged to have met Officer Roberts in his official capacity as a bicycle officer, certified car seat installer, DARE/LEAD instructor.   He held the honor of being the most senior officer within the patrol division and served as a detective and a field training officer within the department.  Rob never missed an opportunity to support law enforcement races such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run which benefits the Special Olympics and the Tunnel to Towers Run honoring the lives of first responders lost on September 11, 2001.  Rob was a mentor within the department and the entire Borough; and today we have truly lost a hero to all.

 The loss of Officer Roberts has extinguished the presence of a pillar and staple within the law enforcement community and the Borough of Glen Ridge.  Despite our loss, the ever-lit green front porch lights at headquarters will continue to serve as a beacon for those in need.  Rest easy our brother in blue, you will never be forgotten and have left a permanent mark on each life you have touched.  To have known you is to have loved you. 

Please continue to keep Officer Robert’s family, friends and members of our department and  all first responders  impacted  by Covid-19  in your thoughts and prayers.  EOW: Monday, May 11, 2020

Burglary Investigation-Eileen Drive

Alarm Activation Reveals Burglary of Unoccupied Residence.

The incident began on April 16th, 2020 at approximately 9:30 PM. Cedar Grove Officers responded to an Eileen Drive Residence on the report of an activated intrusion alarm called in by central station. As Cedar Grove Officer Connor Grawehr responded he noted a white mini-van traveling on Route 23. When Officer Grawehr arrived on scene he observed that the front door had been forced open. Simultaneously the resident, who was away, notified police his door bell camera had captured three masked males entering his home and remove property. The assisting units were advised of the forced entry and the possible suspect vehicle description. That information was transmitted to surrounding towns and a perimeter was established around the home. Verona and Little Falls Police Departments assisted. Checks for suspects inside were negative. The master bed room had been ransacked. Taken were two firearms and jewelry. The doorbell video revealed the three suspects wearing masks and gloves removing the property from the house. Additional video from neighbors revealed a suspect vehicle, a white or silver mini-van. The suspects were undaunted by the sounding alarm spending only minutes inside the home. The investigation is ongoing. This is the second incident occurring in that neighborhood this month. Extra patrols have been directed into that area. Anyone with additional information or surveillance video please contact Det. Sgt. Robert McDermott at 973-239-4100 X258 or by e-mail rmcdermott@cedargrovepd.org.
           
Understandably we are all a bit distracted by the current crisis. However please stay alert. Report all suspicious activity immediately by calling 911. Never investigate on your own and do not dismiss your suspicions. Attached are two images in an attempt to identify or locate additional evidence.                                        

Chief J. Cirasa   

 

Updated Info 3/16/20

Please be advised that Governor Phil Murphy has ordered the following effective Monday, March 16, 2020.

Closure of ALL pre-K, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities beginning 3/18
Closure of ALL casinos, racetracks, theaters, gyms
Closure of ALL non-essential retail, recreational, & entertainment businesses after 8:00 PM
Banning gatherings of 50+
All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services effective 8:00 PM tonight. After 8:00 PM, these establishments may open for takeout and delivery services ONLY, until further notice. These restrictions exist during daytime hours.
All pre-K through grade 12 schools (public, private, and parochial) and all colleges and universities will close effective Wednesday, March 18th until it’s deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume.
We’ve worked closely to ensure that the overall educational and individual needs of students can be met during this closure, including appropriate home instruction and continued access to free and reduced meals.
Starting tonight, all non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8:00 PM AND 5:00 AM. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everyone to be home – and not out.
Essential businesses which are necessary for the public’s health, safety, and welfare – like supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and gas stations – may remain open past 8:00 PM.
Effective 8:00 PM tonight, all movie theaters, gyms, casinos, and racetracks will close entirely until it is deemed safe for their reopening. Online gaming will continue.
Effective tonight, all other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses MUST CLOSE after 8:00 PM. During daytime hours, these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines. All gatherings of over 50 individuals are CANCELED effective 8:00 PM tonight. We do not take any of the steps we’ve announced today lightly. We know that these will impact residents and families, communities, and businesses. But our paramount concern is to #FlattenTheCurve – these steps will ensure we do not overload our health care system.
 
John G. Donnadio, Esq.
Executive Director
New Jersey Association of Counties
Government Finance Officers Association of New Jersey
150 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Telephone (609) 394-3467
www.njac.org

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NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVISORY

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVISORY
 
 
In light of the possible community spread of the Novel Coronavirus the following precautions are being implemented effective Monday, March 16, 2020.  While there are no known cases in Cedar Grove these measures are to minimize risks associated with the spread of the virus
 
Municipal Building
 

  1. Physical access to the municipal building will be limited through March 30, 2020.  The tax collection window will not be accepting payments directly at the window.  The drop box can be utilized in the lobby of town hall for all in person payments.  First floor restrooms will be available.

  2. All municipal offices will be open for information by telephone, fax or e-mail.  There will be no office visitation allowed.

  3. Residents are encouraged to use online payments wherever available.

  4. All Recreation programs must be applied for online.

  5. Cedar Grove Municipal Court will be cancelled on March 18th and March 25th, 2020.

  6. In person contact with town hall employees will by appointment only for emergent matters only.

 
Police Department
 

  1. For all emergent matters please dial 9-1-1

  2. For all non-emergent police matters please call 973-239-4100 and refrain from using the lobby window.

  3. For all police records requests please call 973-239-4100 Ext. 252 and we will assist as possible via email or fax and refrain from using the lobby window.

  4. Overnight Parking will continue to be prohibited.

 
Building/Fire/Electric/Plumbing Inspections
 

  1. Pick up and drop off of permit applications will be by appointment only.  Appointments can be arranged by calling (973) 239-1410 Ext. 246.  You may be asked some screening questions at the time of setting up the appointment.

  2. In an effort to minimize contract, inspector will be using discretion when entering dwellings.  To minimize interaction, only one individual need be present and only limited to contractor, homeowner or an authorized representative.

  3. All non-essential inspections will be suspended until after March 30, 2020.  Only inspections related to closings prior to March 30, 2020 will be scheduled prior to March 30. 2020.  All other inspections will resume March 31, 2020 if conditions permit.

 
Public Works/Water Sewer Department
 

  1. All non-emergent in home work will be suspended until after March 30, 2020 if conditions permit.

  2. All water meter installations are suspended until March 30, 2020.

  3. Water meter reading will only be performed electronically.  There will be no in home water meter reading.  Residents who require physical reads may self-read the meter and call or e-mail information.  Final water meter readings will be by appointment only.  Only one person may be present during the final read similar to number 2 above.

 
Recreation Facilities
 

  1. All recreation program are suspended until March 30, 2020 or when conditions permit resumption.

  2. All township recreation facilities are closed until March 30, 2020 or until conditions permit resumption.

 
Cedar Grove Public Library
 

  1. The Cedar Grove Public Library is closed until March 30, 2020 consistent with the Cedar Grove Public School closing.  Notification will be made upon anticipated reopening.

 
Senior/Medical Transportation
 

  1. Normal senior bus routes have been modified to limit trips to food and pharmacy trips only.  It is strongly recommended food purchases be made on-line or via phone orders with the bus service used for pick up and payment.

 
Solid Waste and Recycling
 

  1. All solid waste, recycling, bulk waste and vegetative waste pickup will resume on a normal schedule until further notice.

  2. The township recycling center will be open normal scheduled hours.

Township Council/Board/Committee Meeting
 

  1. The regular scheduled Township Council meeting of March 16, 2020 has been cancelled.  All board and advisory committee meeting have been postponed until after March 30, 2020 or as conditions allow.  Public participation methods for future meetings will be posted to allow public interaction consistent with the Open Public Meetings Act and directives from the Governors’ Office.

 
While these steps have been implemented by the township to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), all information during this pandemic is subject to change as conditions change.  While many of the changes are disruptive, the township takes the health of the general public very serious.  We will be following the Center for Disease Control, New Jersey State Health Department, and Local Health Department recommendations as they occur. Please monitor the township web site, which has links to the agencies listed above, and our township Facebook page for latest information.
 
Proper Hygiene Practices
 

  1. Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds following skin contact or after a cough or sneeze.

  2. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.

  3. Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of tissues into the trash.

  4. Stay at home if you are sick or experiencing flu like symptoms.

  5. Avoid contact with sick people or large gathers of people.

  6. Older adults and persons with chronic medical conditions should stay at home whenever possible.

 
Local Delivery Options
 

  1. Nicholas Markets (Foodtown) Cedar Grove  – 973- 595-0655

  2. ShopRite from Home – 973-575-1770

  3. Super Foodtown of Caldwell – 973-226-4143

  4. Stop & Shop – 973-227-0319

  5. Medicine Shop ( Cedar Grove) – 973-239-3339

  6. CVS Pharmacy – 973-857-2550

 
The Township of Cedar Grove is committed to protecting our residents from the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  It is important to highlight the limiting of social contact while the township and school board restrictions are in place.  The limiting of person to person contact should be followed wherever possible in our daily routine during this crucial period.  It is only with our combined efforts can we defeat this pandemic which is affecting our daily way of life.

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Press Release – Subject Apprehended Fleeing Police

Subject Apprehended Fleeing Police

December 29th 2019 at 4:27 P.M. Cedar Grove Police arrested an adult male who ran from the scene of a suspicious person investigation. The incident began when Officer Dominick Buscio initiated contact with a subject in the rear parking lot of a Pompton Ave business. Officer Buscio had probable cause that the subject was a wanted person. As the officer conducted his investigation the accused kept moving away toward his apartment despite being told to stop. He then ran up the rear steps fleeing into his second floor apartment and locked the door behind him. This information including the last direction of the suspect was broadcasted to all cars. Still alone Officer Buscio pursued the subject forcing through the locked door into the apartment. Moments later Officer Cassella arrived out front of the business. The fleeing subject escaped out an open apartment window onto an adjacent roof then jumped to the ground. Officers Cassella and Heck who were out front took the subject into custody without further incident. Arrested was Michael Lopez age 36, he was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. The charges were placed on a warrant and he was transported to the Essex County Jail pending a bail hearing. Lopez was also a wanted person by Passaic County Sheriff’s Department and had a number of additional outstanding warrants.
 
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs.  The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1.  All reports are investigated and all assistance is appreciated
                                                                                                     Chief J. Cirasa    

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Car Burglary Arrests

Three Charged in Car Burglary. Last night Oct 30st 2019 at 10:18 P.M. Cedar Grove Police arrested two adults and one juvenile for burglarizing a car on Cedar Street. The incident began when an off duty Cedar Grove Police Officer observed the trio entering an unlocked vehicle parked in the drive way of a Cedar St. residence. After confirming the car had been searched through the information including the last direction of the suspects was broadcasted to all cars. A short distance away Officer Alan Rock and Sergeant Rodriguez located the three suspects walking South on Route 23. They were assisted there by Verona Police. All three suspects initially denied any involvement and provided false names. After further investigation they were arrested for the burglary. Arrested were Christian Fletcher age 19 of Newark, his brother Elijah  Fletcher age 18 of Newark and a 14 year old juvenile also from Newark.  They were all charged with providing false information to police. Christian Fletcher was also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. Elijah Fletcher was also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of cocaine that was discovered incident to his arrest. The juvenile was charged with burglary.  Both Fletcher’s were wanted persons and were transported to the Essex County Jail to await a bail hearing. No parent or guardian could be contacted for the juvenile he was subsequently transported to the Essex County Youth House.
 
“During the course of the investigation officers check cars parked in the adjacent driveways of Cedar Street homes. Many were found to be unlocked. Please remove your valuables including fobs from your cars and lock your car doors”. “All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty”.  Chief J. Cirasa
 
 
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs.  The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1.  All reports are investigated and all assistance is appreciated
                                                                                                                        Chief J. Cirasa    

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2019 Driver's Education

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On Friday October 25th 2019 Cedar Grove Police Officers gave a presentation to students in Mr. Valenzano’s sophomore driver education class at the Cedar Grove High School. Lt. Francis Pumphrey, Ptl. Joseph Johnson, and Det. Carolyn Lynch covered topics such as driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, perception/reaction times and the provisions of the graduated driver’s license. Students had the opportunity to wear "fatal vision googles" that simulate impairment due to alcohol. I agree with Mr. Valenzano, hopefully this will translate into years of safe and responsible driving.
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2019_2 Prescription Take Back

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On October 26th the Cedar Grove Police Department participated in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. More than one hundred residents turned in unused and expired prescription medications. Det. John Smigelsky oversaw the collection process. The program enabled the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly. Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards. The program continues to be a success. Pictured is Det. John Smigelsky with the 184 pounds of medications collected ready to be turned in.

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DEA Take Back

OPERATION TAKE BACK
 
The Cedar Grove Police Department will be participating in the bi-annual Operation Take Back Program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This program enables the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly.
Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards.
This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Any questions regarding the collection contact Detective John Smigelsky – Jsmigelsky@cedargrovepd.org.
 
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Hours:  10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location:  Cedar Grove Police Department – 525 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
For more information about the Operation Take Back program visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov

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