South Orange Trustees Welcome New Officer; Apologizes to Historical Preservation Commission

Doug Van Brunt is promoted to Sergeant by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.
José Albino is sworn is as a new patrol officer by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Board of Trustees met on April 24 to swear in new officers, hear concerns about parking on Ward Place, and to apologize for the process by which Memorial Park was renamed Founders Park.


First on the agenda was the promotion of officer Doug Van Brunt to Sergeant for the South Orange Police Department (SOPD).

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Jose Albino was also sworn in as the newest patrol officer of SOPD. He was joined on stage by his wife and daughters for the ceremony.

“Jose is a fantastic pick up for the department just like the other two recently added officers,” said Police Chief Kyle Kroll. 

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum remarked that the police department is performing more efficiently and effectively than it was 10 years ago, despite having to cover more areas with less resources.

“We appreciate the families of these officers putting them on loan to the community,” said Collum. “We are a stronger, better, and safer community thanks to their work with SOPD.”


Several residents attended the meeting to voice concerns about a proposal to add permanent parking on Ward Pl. between South Orange Ave. and Wilden Pl. Bill Lawsick was joined by two other Ward Pl. homeowners to express opposition to the additional parking. They each cited separate instances of rampant speeding, illegal parking. and line-of-sight issues on Ward Pl.

“One of the thoughts we had was that additional parking would narrow the road and slow traffic,” said Public Safety Coordinator Jeff DuBowy. “But we’ve realized that the missing piece here was including the residents of the street in the discussion.”


Members of the South Orange Historical Preservation Commission also attended the meeting to voice concerns about the renaming of Memorial Park on Valley St. to Founder’s Park. The two representatives said that the commission was entirely left out of the discussion about the name change, as well as any discussion on designing a new sign for the park.

“Throughout this process we realized we had not been equal partners in making the decision,” said Collum. “We hope that you accept our apology and we plan to work more closely with the commission in the future.”

The South Orange Board of Trustees will meet again on Monday, May 8th at 7:30 p.m.

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