LIVINGSTON, NJ — During a special meeting of the Livingston Township Council held virtually on Monday night, Livingston Police Chief Gary Marshuetz reported that the police department has seen a decrease in the township’s crime rate over the last few weeks.

He also noted that there have not been any significant reports of fraud despite the spike in fraudulent activity seen in neighboring towns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the fraud situation in other municipalities, but we’re not seeing it in Livingston,” he said. “Some people try to capitalize on state emergencies, and we’re not seeing that in Livingston. We’re not seeing an uptick in crime, and if anything [there’s been] a decrease. Businesses also seem to be complying with the executive order […] and things are going well.”

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As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to impact first responders in other communities, Marshuetz said he was proud to announce that the Livingston Police Department’s “strength is holding well” thus far.

“We participate in strength surveys with other law enforcement agencies, and we’re in good shape compared to some of our peers out there,” said Marshuetz. “Obviously I wish them the best, but we’re in good shape in Livingston with how we’re isolating our officers and how we’re handling the calls.

"I’m always going to say that I’m very proud of our officers because I truly am. The two captains and all of the staff of the police department, they’ve been on the front lines, and they’re out there every day protecting Livingston.”

Meanwhile, the chief also had a specific request from residents in order to help the department maintain its strength.

“The one thing I’d like to ask the residents is if they do call the police department, we’re going to be there without any delay, but this is not a time to be shy,” he said. “If you’re calling the police department, let us know if someone in the house is symptomatic or if somebody in the house is a confirmed case. This way, the officers can prepare themselves properly...

“[The officers] have PPE (personal protective equipment) that they put on if they know someone is positive, and we do have some information that’s available to us under protocol, but […] we did have one situation where we found out after the fact that somebody was positive. So, please, when you call the police department, please let us know if there’s something going on in your house, and that information will be kept with the utmost confidence with us.”

Acknowledging the generous donation of more than 8,000 masks that the Livingston Police Department received from a group of local Chinese families earlier this week, Marshuetz advised residents that the officers are keeping what is needed at the department and passing along all other supplies to Livingston’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to be disseminated to other entities.

During the meeting, OEM Coordinator Chris Mullin, who also serves as chief of the Livingston Fire Department, explained how the emergency management team intends to use those donations and where the township stands on PPE.

Click on the headlines below to read Mullin’s COVID-19 update and more from Monday's meeting, or CLICK HERE to view the meeting in its entirety:

Livingston Council Postpones Budget Adoption to Assess COVID-19 Impacts