BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar Police Department continues to roll out its new Community Policing Program, with the final meeting to be held on Thursday, May 16 in Belmar's west patrol zone.

With the summer seasons several weeks away, the program is designed to give Belmar and Lake Como residents a more active role in addressing quality-of-life issues within their neighborhoods.

Divided into four specially designated zones, residents will be working “hand in hand” with the patrol division assigned to those zones to identify and resolve issues pertaining to noise, trash, overcrowding, parking, property maintenance or any other ongoing disturbance.

Sign Up for E-News

The May 16 meeting for the west zone — from Main Street to the Belmar marina on the west side — will be held at 7 p.m. at the Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main Street. 

Meetings already have been held for the north zone — from First to Ninth Avenues on the east side of town and the south zone — from 10th Avenue to North Boulevard on the east side — as well as in Lake Como.

During those meetings, residents are provided with an overview of the program, including the roles of resident block captains or the resident zone chief. Applications to serve in those volunteer positions will be available.

During the Belmar Council’s meeting on May 7, Councilwoman Patricia Wann said that the program received an enthusiastic response from residents in the south zone during the meeting with their assigned patrol squad.

“It was incredibly impressive how many people showed up,” she said, adding that it was “neighbor meeting neighbor and talking with the police officers who will be working with them. It was very encouraging. Thanks to everyone for getting involved.”

Led by Belmar Police Detective Capt. Thomas Cox, the program will work as follows:

-- A volunteer resident chief and resident block captains will be selected for each of four patrol zones.

-- Each patrol zone is led by a sergeant and several officers, who will serve as the department’s community outreach specialists.

-- In each zone, the squad’s members will work directly with the resident chief who in turn receives information on a specific issue or problem from block captains assigned throughout their zone. These captains will be the first point of contact for residents in a particular zone.

-- It is then the responsibility of the resident chief in each zone to forward this information to the zone’s sergeant and Cox. The sergeant will brief officers in the zone about the issues and take any steps needed to resolve them, including notifying other borough officials about concerns that fall under their responsibilities.

-- In his role as program supervisor, Cox will review every police report on every issue — whether or not a summons is issued.

Residents in both towns should still notify the police department immediately if an issue is an emergency, including noise complaints. And they can remain anonymous.

For more information on the program, call the Belmar Police Department at 732-681-1700.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is a locally owned news organization serving the community. Our advertisers enable us to publish local online news at no charge. Sign up for our free daily e-News, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.