EAST ORANGE, N.J. – Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, the East Orange City Council, East Orange Police Chief William C. Robinson and East Orange Fire Chief Charles F. Salley are proud to honor the brave men and women of the East Orange Police and Fire Departments during the 2015 East Orange Police and Fire Promotion and Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony will be held on today, Tuesday, November 10 at 5:30pm at the Theater at the Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts Center. All are welcome to attend.

"The dedicated men and women of the East Orange Police and Fire Departments have provided the City of East Orange with exemplary service,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. "Public safety is the cornerstone of a community and we are fortunate to have such committed personnel serving our citizens.”

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The event will recognize promotions and pay tribute to the acts of heroism and professionalism displayed by members of both departments.

The ceremony will also commemorate the first time that a woman has been promoted to captain. Captain Tasha Hayes-Smith, an East Orange native who has served as a member of the EOFD since August of 1993, is the first female to be promoted to captain in the department’s history. Of the department’s 100 plus years of service, Captain Hayes-Smith is one of only three women to ever serve for the Fire Department, and the first to be promoted to captain.

“It is my pleasing duty and honor to recommend and finally promote Captain Tasha Hayes-Smith. Captain Tasha Hayes Smith has served the department as an Acting Captain off and on for the past two years and has shown herself to be a good leader within the department,” said Fire Chief Charles F. Salley. “I’m sure Captain Smith will continue to make herself and the citizens of East Orange proud. I join her in thanking Mayor Lester E. Taylor III for this great opportunity.”

The EOPD and EOFD have had a productive year, with both departments receiving federal grants in excess of $1.5 million combined for new turnout gear and 12 new school resource officers. The city also has benefited from supplemental community outreach programs from both departments, including campaigns to increase traffic safety and install free smoke detectors in homes that need them.