Law & Justice

East Brunswick: Attorney General Honors Patrolman Craig Hooverd for Outstanding Achievements and Innovation in Community Policing

East Brunswick's Captain Kevin Zebro, Chief James Conroy, New Jersey State Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino, and Patrolman Craig Hoover. Credits: Jodi Hoover

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino honored more than 30 law enforcement agencies and individual police officers yesterday for their outstanding achievements and innovative approaches in community policing.  The award ceremony was held at Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus Student Center in Piscataway.

“I firmly believe that a successful community policing program is far more than uniformed police officers walking the beat,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Rather, it’s an overarching strategy that depends on the collaboration between police departments and community groups working together to identify and solve local neighborhood problems. Today, we recognize and commend these outstanding law enforcement agencies and officers for their innovative approaches to fostering relationships of collaboration, trust, and understanding between police departments and the community.”

Highlighted innovative approaches to community policing included an outreach effort by police reading with kindergarten students, engaging with entire families to steer kids away from gang recruitment, and spending full days with young people to experience field trips, cultural programs and community events together. Another approach features an agency’s newly painted police cruisers for clergy patrol members who join police officers to visit local business owners and residents at their homes, schools and hospitals. Additional community outreach programs included movie night with police, pop-up barbecues, ice cream with a cop, pizza with a cop, coffee with a cop, shop with a cop, basketball with teens, and a swim meet for charity. Educational programs featured anti-bullying, gang awareness, Internet safety, senior fraud, distracted driving, substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and a mock police academy. An innovative outreach drug interdiction program was presented that provides an outlet and resources for residents and their families battling opiate addiction. Leadership programs included demonstrations about how students can learn to de-escalate crisis situations, and participation in hands-on police programs including ride-alongs for age 18 plus, and citizen police academies.  

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The award ceremony featured video presentations and a panel discussion from selected law enforcement agencies showcasing their programs that could readily be duplicated and might serve as a model for other police departments. 

“The goal of this awards program is to recognize novel and successful community engagement initiatives from around the state, and to learn from those agencies that have succeeded in this field,” added Porrino. “The takeaway from this program is that the honored agencies clearly demonstrated the power and effectiveness of strong community outreach programs that promote transparency, build communication bridges and break down barriers.”

AWARDEES:  (In alphabetical order)

  • Atlantic City Police Department
  • Belleville Police Department
  • Camden County Police Department
  • Camden County Police Department – Lt. Jeremy Merck
  • Carney’s Point Township Police Department
  • Cinnaminson Township Police Department – Officer Michael Czarzasty
  • Cumberland County Law Enforcement Community Engagement Series – Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, Vineland Police Chief Tim Codispoti (Ret.), Bridgeton Police Chief Mike Gaimari, Millville Police Chief Jody Farabella, Cumberland County Sheriff Robert Austino
  • East Brunswick Police Department – Patrolman Craig Hoover
  • Edison Police Department
  • Emerson Police Department
  • Evesham Township Police Department
  • Highland Park Police Department
  • Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Jefferson Township Police Department – Lt. Paul Castimore, Det. Joseph Kratzel, T/O Rodger Davis, SRO Christopher Fabian and SRO Joseph Hale 
  • Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office
  • Midland Park Police Department
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Montclair Police Department – Lt. Tyrone Williams, Officer Paul Rusiniak, Officer Travis Davis, Officer AnJennette Sanders and Officer Garth Guthrie 
  • Morris County Park Police Department – Patrolman John Eckert
  • New Jersey State Police – Trooper I James Bambara
  • New Jersey State Police – Trooper I Storm Colleton
  • New Jersey State Police – Trooper II Reinaldo Cruz
  • New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police – Chief William Parenti, President
  • Newark Police Division 
  • Park Ridge Police Department – Sgt. James Babcock
  • Parsippany Police Department
  • Paulsboro Police Department
  • Perth Amboy Police Department
  • Riverside Township Police Department – Captain Hans Jaensch, Patrolman Timothy Marano, SLEO Michael Hynes
  • Roxbury Township Police Department
  • Rutgers University Police Department
  • Summit Police Department
  • West Deptford Police Department - School Resource Officer David Jiles
  • Westampton Township Police Department 
  • Woodbury City Police Department – Patrolmen Carl Villone, Alex Phillips, Nick Cacciola, Joe Wills, Will Sheehan and Joseph Duffy 
  • Woodcliff Lake Police Department

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