Police & Fire

Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s 2017 in Review: Top Police and Fire Stories

Fanwood Police Officer Elliott Bernard left for his mission in Puerto Rico early Saturday morning. Credits: Courtesy of Dianne Howarth
Scotch Plains Police Chief Ted Conley spoke to high school students at a drunk driving accident simulation in December. Credits: John Mooney
Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo spoke to high school students at a drunk driving accident simulation in December. Credits: John Mooney
Mayor Al Smith swears in Scotch Plains Fire Chief John Lestarchick while his wife, Allison, holds the Bible. Credits: John Mooney
From left to right: Scotch Plains Detective Shawn Johnson, Officer Michael Rusin (Fanwood), Brian Cheney (Scotch Plains), andOfficer Elliott Bernard (Fanwood). Credits: Sean Conklin
Police found $60,000 and a loaded weapon at this Scotch Plains home in 2017. Credits: Sean Conklin

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – While Scotch Plains-Fanwood is far from being a high crime area, nonetheless a $60,000 drug bust in the spring was one of the biggest stories of the year.

After Scotch Plains residents who lived in the north side of town complained about credit card fraud, local police cracked the case. The culprit was a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier.

Fanwood police officer Elliot Bernard helped with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

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The JCC was evacuated in January because of a bomb threat. No bomb was found.

Three teenagers were arrested following a home invasion in Fanwood.

An armed robbery occurred in Scotch Plains in the spring.

Scotch Plains police officers were commended for helping an injured elderly couple in October.

In 2017, the Scotch Plains police department promoted five officers and hired a new one.

The Fanwood and Scotch Plains police departments jointly hosted public events, including after-school recreation and seminars on opioid drug (heroin) abusedrunk driving and drunk driving accidents. Police also promoted drop boxes where residents could drop off unused prescription medicine.

A Fanwood resident and former Rutgers student pleaded guilty in a major cybercrime case that damaged university records.

Longtime Scotch Plains Fire Chief Jon Ellis retired, John Lestarchick was sworn in as the new chief, and the department welcomed four new firefighters. Bob Kruthers marked his 60 years on the Fanwood rescue squad.

Scotch Plains installed solar stop signs and added speed humps on local streets.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood first responders receive awards at Knights of Columbus' 42nd annual ceremony.

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