Government

Franklin Township: Naaman Williams Park Dedication Ceremony

3d50f66696e89f504c6d_DSC_0447.JPG
3518f4d036f6279fde9c_DSC_0405_copy.JPG
76368bcb69a9d45fb442_DSC_0467.JPG
cdb1628e302af864f9f4_02e860062bffc408f7a5_IMG_3485.JPG
360c968d3a752202bec1_DSC_0402.JPG
3d50f66696e89f504c6d_DSC_0447.JPG

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Township officials along with the Williams' family collaborated to mark the 35th anniversary of the dedication, of Naaman Williams Memorial Park in recognition of the park's namesake on Aug. 26. 

"The idea came from Township Manager Bob Vornlocker and was supremely orchestrated by Detective Kenneth Daly," Councilwoman At-Large, Kimberly Francois (D) said. "The Williams family and I are grateful and thankful for such a wonderful event because it was well attended by the Franklin Police Department and many members of the community, and everything turned out perfect. The family traveled from Philadelphia, Massachusetts, California, and South Carolina wearing specially designed T-shirts to commemorate the Ceremony and turned it into a Family Reunion and they were all so very proud."

Franklin Township's PBA Local 154 dedicated a commemorative stone to honor the service provided by Williams.

Sign Up for E-News

Lt. Williams served as the first African American police officer to serve the Township of Franklin. Williams served from 1949 to 1976, he also was a member of Franklin Township Policemen's Benevolent Association Local 154. Williams was also an active civic leader who volunteered for many activities through First Baptist Church, focusing on professional and youth activities. 

"Naaman Williams was appointed to a full-time position in 1956, making him only the 2nd full-time officer in Franklin’s history," Williams' great granddaughter, Jonique Wadday said. "He was a lieutenant with the department when he retired. He gracefully passed away on May 30th, 1982.  A few months later, what was once Hamilton Park, was officially dedicated in his honor as Naaman Williams Memorial Park."  

Williams was an active member of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens when the Late Reverand Charlie H. Brown, Jr. led the church. Four generations later, his family still attends the church, now led by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.  

"He was a God fearing man, that was always humble and full of peace," Williams' grand daughter Andrea Ratliff said. "I never heard him raise his voice. He was always about the children, taking us places traveling, camping, amusement parks, fishing and watching baseball was his favorite. Every weekend the Williams family with his brothers and sisters were always getting together coming from New York, Philadelphia and Massachusetts to go to Railroad Avenue in New Brunswick, where he grew up. His sister Ruthy kept the house that their parent's lived in until her death."

Former Mayor of Franklin Township Nancy Henry gave her reflections on her time in office. "When he (Williams) was appointed to the Franklin Township Police Department, it was an honor. Not many men of color were being appointed to police departments. Franklin Township was the first one to hire a person of color, and that is an honor."

The family hopes the rededication can help the park to get a fresh start. 

"We find it unfortunate, and disheartening the negative stigma found online when you search for Lt. Naaman Williams," Williams' great granddaughter Jalissa Ratliff said. "You will find entries of the crimes and murders committed here, at a place often referred to as Parkside Park.  Our family hopes that this rededication will be the start of enlightenment to help change the park’s reputation because what is found online, is not what Naaman represented."  

In the early 1950s, Williams was trained alongside Sgt. Albert Bessenyei, Sgt. Adolph Canavesio, Sgt. David Gilfillan, Sgt. Thomas J. Lee, Sgt. George Newell, Sgt. Charles Petrillo, Sgt. William Ribar, Sgt. Louis Shunk, Lt. Douglas Woitchek, Lt. Russell Pfeiffer, and Chief Edwin Vorhees by the FBI and the NJ State Police to learn the best methods to protect and serve Franklin Township. 

Williams also assisted in the building of Franklin Township's Police Department when there was only one patrol car, a 1942 Ford 2-door Sedan, a photo of can be seen above in the photo gallery. Daly also discussed some of the details about the car.

"We are very proud of our great-grandfather, and hope the people of this community can feel proud of him also," Ratliff said. "On behalf of the Williams Family, and our elders: Uncle Major, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Thelma – the remaining siblings of Naaman Williams, we want to thank Detective Kenneth Daly and Councilwoman Kimberly Francois for inviting us to partake in today’s rededication ceremony for the Week of the People."

TAPinto Franklin Township is Franklin Township’s only free daily paper. 

 Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

Like our FaceBook Page!  and follow us on Twitter

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Somerset: Act Now to Save 15 Percent Off Pulse Summer Sports Camps

May 20, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Pulse Premier Sports Camps offer an innovative approach to sports education. Curriculums are designed for young athletes of all skill levels who have a passion for sports and demand more during key influential years.

Starting in June Pulse will be running their Premier Soccer & Multi Sports Camps at Rutgers Prep, TAP here for details.

Act now and you can save 15 ...

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 27, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them (FOUND)

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Bloomfield Department of Public Safety Director Samuel DeMaio confirmed that three missing teenagers have been found safe at a McDonald's restaurant in Pennsylvania.

Original article:

The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is ...

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 27, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

Franklin Township: Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be formidable opponents, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!