PATERSON, NJ - The skies grew dark and the wind whipped up quickly Wednesday, and, for several minutes, visibility dropped, making it impossible to see just a few yards ahead. Within minutes, the passing snow squall was passed. 

Just days away from the official start of winter, the rapidly changing weather offered another reminder of just how lucky nearly 1,000 children across Paterson are to have been included in the Paterson PBA’s annual coat drive.

“No child should be cold,” Mason Maher, president of the Superior Officers union told TAPinto Paterson.

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The annual coat drive, housed out of the PBA’s new community center/office on 21st Avenue took on special meaning in 2019 as it was renamed in honor of recently deceased Paterson Police Detective Sergeant Thomas Trommelen who served the city for 30 years.

Trommelen helped launch the coat drive many years ago, Alex Cruz, president of PBA Local 1 said, adding that the act was a reflection of who he was as a police officer, and a person. “He always put Paterson first, and our city’s children were always his top priority.”

Several members of Det. Trommelen’s family attended the first day of the coat drive on December 7, helping dozens of children try on new, warm coats. Among them was Paterson Fire Battalion Chief Mike Trommelen who said that “everything Tom did was for the children,” before adding that the coat drive would serve as a proud legacy of his brother. 

Battalion Chief Trommelen would go on to share a story of a mother who approached him on at the event, sharing her gratitude for the support Tom gave her family over the years.

“That’s who he was,” the proud brother said.


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