FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Florham Park's Chief of Police has issued the following statement to residents on April 25, 2020:

 

Residents,

I hope all is well with you and your families. I wanted to wait as long as possible before issuing this post in hopes the Governor would provide some insight on how and when he plans to loosen restrictions and begin opening the State. Unfortunately, our test positive numbers remain consistent, averaging 3,500 test positives daily, as today's number came in at 3,457 new test positives. The number of daily deaths has been decreasing slightly which is great news, however, with today’s reported numbers our State is suffering a 5.5% death rate. To put that into perspective, of the 3,457 people who tested positive today, 190 of them will die if the statistical data remains consistent. Take a moment to absorb those numbers. The Governor has stated he will not begin lifting restrictions until there’s a steady decline in these numbers.

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The State has taken steps to clarify what is or is not an essential retail business and issued several guidance documents this week. Pet groomers, pet stores, pet adoption centers and boat marinas, to name a few, have been deemed essential and are allowed to operate. The interpretation of the Governor’s Executive Orders is very difficult and there are varying degrees of exemptions to each of them. For specific information residents can utilize the link below for guidance and interpretation regarding how businesses can operate:

https://faq.business.nj.gov/…/3820777-does-my-business-need…

The NJ Department of Health dashboard contains a tremendous amount of information regarding test positive cases by County, Town and Long Term Care Facilities. Residents can use the link below to research the same. As I have stated in many posts prior to this one, the Department of Health’s reporting is several days behind and in some cases inaccurate, however it does give you an idea of how the virus is spreading within the County and each respective community. The Morris County Department of Health site has Florham Park slipping once again to the 19th highest infection rate within Morris County. Your disciplined approach to social distancing is the driving force behind our continued descent on the infection test positive list. Keep it up!!

https://www.nj.gov/health/…/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

The Motor Vehicle Commission had been slated to reopen on April 27th but has now decided to remain closed through May 10th. Any driver’s license, registration, temporary registration or inspection certificate that expires before May 31st has been extended for two months. Residents can view the link below for more specific information:

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/

The Police Department has been receiving a significant increase in the number of Fraud reports within the last week. The frauds are being perpetrated via phone and internet as criminals are taking advantage of the population being relegated to their homes and easier to target. Please remember to never provide financial information or personal identifying information over the phone or internet. Several communities have been experiencing mail theft from curbside mailboxes as well. Please remember to monitor your mail, refrain from leaving mail in the box for extended periods of time and report suspicious activity to the Police immediately.

The Police Department has received donations of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) from residents and charities in the last week. We have been sharing donated items with the First Aid Squad, Fire Department and with the Long Term Care Facilities within the Borough that have been devastated with the virus and lacking sufficient PPE supplies. Your donations and continued support within the community has been phenomenal.

We have also been receiving food donations from several residents and local businesses which are greatly appreciated. There have been too many to thank individually but know that all are appreciated and shared within the Borough when possible.

We received information earlier in the week regarding the return home, from the hospital, of one our local frontline workers, an 18-year-old First Aid Squad member. We recommended not conducting a parade of sorts, as it was contradictory to what we as a community have been preaching regarding parades. After conferring with the leadership of the First Aid Squad it was decided we would have one patrol vehicle lead one ambulance, as these frontline workers are in each other’s presence on a daily basis already, past the residence to welcome the member home. While some in the community will argue that the patrol vehicle and ambulance is no different than conducting a birthday parade my response to them is this;

This 18-year-old resident risked his life to serve this community and to compare honoring his safe return home, after fighting for his life, to a child’s birthday celebration dishonors his selfless service. I understand the hardships the Governor’s Executive Orders have placed on families, however all should weigh the short term gratification and satisfaction received from participating in congregating events versus the long term consequences of such behavior. Remember 190 of the 3,457 test positives today will statistically die as a result of contracting the virus.

Lastly, I want to ensure everyone that all members of the Borough workforce, including the Mayor and Council, have been working towards and preparing for a return to normalcy. Once the Governor provides guidance on reopening the State we will be prepared to move forward together.

Wishing everyone safety and wellness for you and your loved ones!!

Joseph Orlando
Chief of Police / Deputy OEM Coordinator
April 25, 2020