CHATHAM, NJ - Gerry Malanga offered that he didn't really know any of the members of the Chatham Borough Police Department. Then he added, "Maybe that's a good thing."
Chatham Borough resident Malanga stopped by to say hello and thank the borough police, who held a "Coffee with a Cop" event Saturday at the Sustainability Fair held at the train station.
"That's why we're out here, to meet the residents and answer questions they might have," Chatham Borough Police Chief Phil Crosson Jr. said.
Officers Roy George and Brian Colatella, along with Chief Crosson chatted with residents and handed out a history of the department booklet, along with coffee and doughnuts.
"I think, especially in the times that we live in, with the amount of tension between everyday people and the police, there needs to be an understanding," Malanga said. "The police need to be part of the community. It's very, very important. The old police, you go back to Mayberry, everyone knew everyone in town. If you know somebody and they do something that's not correct, as citizens we have to say, 'yea, that was not right' and reduce the antagonism toward the police.
"That's what we need today. Everyone's job is to make this the best place possible to live."
Gerard D'Onofrio took the opportunity to meet the police since he recently moved to Chatham Borough from Chatham Township, where he lived for 26 years.
"We appreciate the Chatham Borough Police Department for everything they do to protect and serve us," D'Onofrio said.