TRENTON, NJ – State Police here have apologized even before asking the question.
Your Monday morning head may be too foggy to answer it, the agency notes in an official Facebook post, but it asks anyway: "Do you even know where you live?"
“Yeah, it sounds like a ridiculous question,” the post concedes, “but it’s one that needs to be asked from time to time.”
For those who live in the city, State Police say, “we know you all know where you live.” The question is really aimed at “more rural areas,” such as Hunterdon.
“We've nothing against our rural brothers and sisters,” State Police say, “but things can get a little weird out in the boondocks.” They note that many “rural” residents have a different town listed on their mailing address than the actual municipality in which they live.
State Police use Union Township in Hunterdon as an example. Mailing addresses for Union could be Asbury, Hampton, Pittstown or Clinton. But Asbury and Pittstown “don’t even exist.”
State Police insist it’s a “true story. The Asbury post office is located in Franklin Township, Warren County, and ... there is no such town or township that exists in Warren or Hunterdon counties.
The Pittstown post office is located in Hunterdon’s Franklin Township “and well, Pittstown doesn’t exist.” It’s an unincorporated town.
State Police say the reason this all matters is that in an emergency, you should never give your mailing address to 911, but instead use “the physical location of where your house is located.”
For example, the Asbury mailing address is serviced by both Washington and Perryville Stations in Troop “B.” If you indicate that your town is “Asbury,” dispatchers need to figure out where you physically reside in order to dispatch a trooper from the correct station. “This wastes precious time during an emergency situation,” State Police report. “It could literally be a matter of life or death.”
Chiding the public that “everyone loves paying property taxes,” police ask you “to think back on that joyous time when you penned out that last property tax check to the town or township in which you reside. That, friends, is where you live and where you should tell 911 you live should you be in an emergency situation.”
Maybe your mortgage company writes that “nasty check,” police say. “If that's the case, think about where your kids go or went to elementary or middle school," they suggest. Of course, that won't work for those who live in Flemington or Raritan Township, because they share in both a regional K-8 school district and a regional high school.
For renters who don’t directly pay property taxes and don’t have kids, “well, just ask around,” police suggest.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correctly note that the Pittstown Post office is in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County. A previous version of this article - relying on information from State Police - mistakenly stated that the Pittstown Post office was in Alexandria.