Police & Fire

Eight Years of “Operation 15-45” Build a Level of Trust between Community and Police

ce0cd926809c327bf028_DSC_0067.JPG
Officer Albert Domizi parks his patrol vehicle to do his 15 minutes per hour of walking a beat. Credits: NA Rudy
1bde88b9e3355a1c2a5e_DSC_0070.JPG
Officer Albert Domizi greets counter worker Eric Morroquin at Pan DeCasa on Somerset Street in North Plainfield. Credits: NA Rudy
31f1f8fb8670f103003d_DSC_0073.JPG
Resident Leonel Eduardo Erodinez DeLeon asked for help from Officer Albert Domizi in understanding a ticket he had received. Credits: NA Rudy
2f5e35c1306f31bbb1ed_DSC_0075.JPG
Officer Albert Dimozi is greeted like an old friend by former North Plainfield resident Juan Flores. Credits: NA Rudy
e83d964d4cd76478416e_DSC_0081.JPG
Tesoro Salvadoreno owner Luis Chaves says his relationship with the North Plainfield police department is "like family." Credits: NA Rudy
ce0cd926809c327bf028_DSC_0067.JPG

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Eight years ago Police Chief William Parenti decided to tell his officers to get out of their cars and start walking the beat in order build a greater bond between the public and his officers. 

“The program is aimed at improving our visibility and accessibility and increasing public confidence in community-based policing,” said Parenti. “Sometimes an officer will spend their full 15 minutes on Somerset Street or Watchung Avenue, other times they go into a business and talk to the owners about concerns. 

“Things police should do.”

Sign Up for E-News

Each hour from 4 to 10 p.m. during most of Daylight Savings Time, an officer parks the patrol car and walks the downtown for 15 minutes. While on foot patrol, the officers are expected to deal with incidents they encounter, gather intelligence, visit businesses, provide crime reduction advice, liaise with community groups and members such as Neighborhood Watch, collect and update business contact information and identify any potential problems.

Officer Albert Domizi, who joined the police force a week after the program began, enjoys his time out of the car more than anything else in his job.  He performs it with such vigor that’s gotten a nickname among the people in the downtown.

“They call him ‘The Mayor’,” said Parenti.

On a walk-along with Domizi the business owners and customers were always glad to see him and talk about issues important to them.

At Pan de Casa, a very popular bakery on the south end of Somerset Street, customer Leonel Eduardo Erodinez DeLeon put down his chocolate covered plantain and approached Domizi with a parking ticket in his hand.  DeLeon had never met Domizi before, but said he felt an instant comfort with the officer.

“I love myself, and so I have nothing to hide,” said DeLeon. “I trust the North Plainfield police; its better here than in some other towns.”

Speaking in a mix of Spanish and English, Domizi explained the process for paying the ticket. Domizi, whose family is from Argentina, speaks Spanish and that helps a lot with the large population of people who speak the language in the business district.  Many of the officers speak Spanish, but not all do.  Fortunately there are often bi-lingual people in the downtown who are happy to act as translators.

As Domizi started to leave, Juan Flores walked in and greeted him with a big handshake and smile. Flores had been a North Plainfield resident, but had recently moved to Raritan.  He’d come back to purchase some baked goods at Pan de Casa, but was so happy to see the officer he offered to buy him a cup of coffee. Domizi declined, and after speaking for about five minutes they shook hands again and separated.

“I don’t know about other departments, but we’re a small community here and our department wants to be part of the community, to interact with the public,” said Domizi about the reception he received. “We don’t want to be standoffish, but to greet them daily so they feel comfortable speaking with us when they need help.”

Usually when an officer is doing their 15 minutes of walking they can get to only a half dozen stores or so, and sometimes fewer when there are residents or business owners who want to talk.

“I usually only get to a handful of stores,” said Domizi. “People feel comfortable talking to me and I spend a lot of time with them.”

At Tesoro Salvadoreno, a Salvadorian restaurant on the Plainfield border, owner Luis Chaves talked warmly about his relationship with the local police force.

“The police of North Plainfield is like family.  We see them walking by when they are passing by or checking the parking lot,” said Chaves. “We have a really good relationship.”

Tesoro has been open since 1995, and serves a Central American cuisine with a hint of Mediterranean flavors that Chaves picked up working in Italian restaurants when he broke in to the business.  It does a brisk trade when soccer games are on, and often the home-country of the clientele depends on what games are on.

Domizi came by to give Chaves a form to fill out with information on a new alarm system and company for the police department’s records.  Often officers take the time to pass out paperwork and other simple issues while they were on their walk.

Chaves likes that the police walk the downtown during the evening hours, and particularly likes it when they park their cruiser in his lot while they’re on their 15 minute walk because it shows that there’s an active police presence there.  In fact, he asked for a “dummy car” to be parked out front on Somerset Street.

“That’s the trust that we have with the public,” said Dimozi. “And that they have with us.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

February 14, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

February 22, 2018

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

From the New York Toy Fair - Travels Reveals the Toys That Will Make You the Star of Your Child’s Life - the Oscars of the Toy World - the TOTY Awards

 As you know, we are here to encourage you to travel.  Unfortunately, the New York Toy Fair is one place virtually none of you can go.  So, unless you have been tirelessly been searching the internet, you are not up to date on what toys your children will be wanting soon.

Fortunately, with Press Correspondent credentials, we were able to go in your place.

Our ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Looking for Something to Do? Weekend Events in Somerset County

Things to do in Somerset County

A weekend celebrating Warmer Days!

1. Winter Market, Duke Farms

2. The Mountaintop, Theatre at RVCC - Friday featuring the Peking Acrobats.

3. State Theatre New Jersey - nothing scheduled this weekend - next show Feb 22 

4. Heritage Trail Association - Five Generals House Bus Tour - ...

Travels’ Pick 2 For 1 Valentine’s Day Special on Comedy and Music Tickets at the Wellmont

TAPintoTravels - We seldom post these deals last minute, but it seems to good to miss.  It’s even better that a number of great events are at the Wellmont in Montclair.

Here are our picks to take your significant other out for a night on the town:

The Muscial Box - a Genesis tribute band is performing decades worth of the band’s vast repertoire.  They ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 14, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

Travels Idea - You Feel Like Freezing Your Beachballs Off this Saturday? - It’s a Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting the Special Olympics New Jersey

February 22, 2018

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - On Saturday, Feb 24, an anticipated 7,000 people will brave the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean, participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights, all to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. This Plunge is especially noteworthy because it is the 25th anniversary.

Two ...

Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially ended its search for the two crew members of the fishing boat that went missing off the coast of Barnegat Light during the early morning hours of February 8.  

“We would like to extend our condolences to the families and the fishing community affected by this tragic incident,” said Capt. Scott Anderson, commander of the Coast Guard's ...

Third Annual Long Beach Island Job Fair Set for Saturday, March 31

SURF CITY, NJ - Need a job this summer? Look no further. Shore Fire Grille again has teamed up with local businesses in the area for a special summer 2018 Job Fair event. 

The Third Annual LBI Job Fair will take place Saturday, March 31.  Employers will be looking to hire help for the summer season on busy Long Beach Island.  The event will be held at the Surf City Yacht ...

Parkland Strong and Proud

February 22, 2018

I want to share some thoughts with you.

I have not been posting on social media, although I have been constantly reading your posts so that I can represent you through this sad time. What our community has been saying is inspirational and has helped me cope through these “more than” trying times.

Special thanks to my fellow Parkland, Coral Springs, Broward Commissioners and ...

Obituaries

North Plainfield – Gail A. Kaufman – Cain, 62, passed away peacefully on Saturday ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_2ff71a88602c34c5bdd9_157bf5c4-d2e4-4c85-9231-84be219a13ed

Sun, February 25, 4:00 PM

North Plainfield

A Celebration of Black History- Honoring the ...

Government

Carousel_image_3d7e35618f05795eb00f_omstbydesignnew_jpeg

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Mon, March 5, 7:00 PM

BRHS Auditorium, Bridgewater

Dangers of Fentanyl

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 9, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, March 16, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_ad6c3c447b5accf3e1a1_3ef0aae34bda175becfa_ptp_save_the_date_-_p1

Fri, March 16, 7:00 PM

The Grove, Cedar Grove

Susan G. Komen North Jersey

Giving Back Other

Wrestling: 11 Warriors and Three Canucks Advance to Regions, Watchung Hills Wins NJSIAA District 16

February 17, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Regional High School wrestling team won its first District title on Saturday and 11 Warriors placed in the top three of their weight classes to advance to regions. North Plainfield came in ninth in District 14 and three wrestlers advance to regions.

”Congratulations to Coach Smith, his staff, and all of our Warrior wrestlers on winning their first ...

Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung Students Compete in County Spelling Bee

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Students from more than 30 schools in Somerset County, including Green Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung, will compete in the 3rd annual Spelling Bee Spectacular sponsored by the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey.

Participation is limited to those students up to the eighth grade.

The contest, which is a preliminary to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling ...

Wellness at WHRHS: On Stress, Wellness and Integrity at Watchung Hills

WARREN, NJ - A letter was sent to all parents of Watchung Hills Regional High School students (WHRHS) on Jan.19 addressing the school’s efforts to promote student wellness and reduce student stress. The letter also encouraged parents to review the academic integrity guidelines and have conversations with their children about health, wellness, and ethical ...

WHRHS Girls Basketball: Watchung Hills Tops East Orange, 44-40

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Julia Cunningham recorded a double-double for Watchung Hills with 21 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block to lead the Watchung Hills girls basketball team over East Orange on Monday, 44-40. 

Jayden Baltuch finished with seven points, four assists and one rebound. 

Watchung Hills is now 19-1 on the season and next plays at Newark ...

WHRHS Boys Basketball: Watchung Hills Routs Somerville, 82-54

WARREN, NJ -  Six Warriors scored in the double digits to lead the Watchung Hills boys basketball game over Somerville on Saturday, 82-54.

Mike Hopwood led Watchung Hills with 17 points, Dan Pilsbury added 14 points and eight rebounds, Steven Bressler sunk 15 points, Gavin DeFuria added 13 points, Micheal Bressler got 11 points and 10 assists and Chad Martini chipped in 10 points and ...

Workshop Examines Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

February 22, 2018

BEDMINSTER, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership and The Center for Contemporary Art will host a “Business Builders Breakfast” and workshop focused on sexual harassment in the workplace on Tuesday, Feb. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road.

The 90-minute event, “Sexual Harassment & Rules of the Modern ...

Watchung Appoints New Council Member

WATCHUNG, NJ - The Watchung Borough Town Council appointed Maria Alberto to fill the unexpired portion of Debra Joren’s term at the last meeting. The term expires at the end of 2018.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ReYfGuwPE

Joren retired earlier this year and due to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was required to resign from any public office within six ...