School is out, our parks are full, and families are spending quality time having old fashioned, traditional fun. To help keep our streets and residents safe this summer, our Department of Public Safety has recently implemented several new initiatives, including establishing Joint Border Patrols between our neighboring law enforcement agencies in Newark and Bloomfield and increasing street patrols in targeted areas throughout the city. 

Public safety is not just about preventing or responding to crime. East Orange is in the forefront of protecting our most vulnerable citizens with the implementation of a state-of-the-art Search and Rescue training program that aids in finding residents suffering from cognitive disorders.  

A team of East Orange Police Officers recently completed training for Project Lifesaver, which assists police in searching for vulnerable members of our population such as those diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, Autism, Down syndrome, or other impairments that may increase an individual's tendency to wander.  

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Enrolled participants wear a small transmitter on their wrist or ankle, which emits an individualized tracking signal that is picked up by police. With the device, search times are reduced by 95% with most victims being found in less than 30 minutes.

As excited as I am about our new programs, I know that when it comes to community safety, our work is never really done. Starting with National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1st, let's join together, recharge and forge new partnerships with our police officers and neighbors. Be an extra set of eyes and ears on the ground and let's show East Orange what true community is all about!