WAYNE, NJ – At this week’s Wayne Town Council meeting, Councilwoman Aileen Rivera officially declared January 9, 2020 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day during a speech before the Council.

“Every year we celebrate Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, acknowledging our men and women in blue who do so much to keep us all safe,” said Rivera, who stood at the podium with Wayne Police Captain Keith McDermott. “In Wayne, we have the best police force and I’m so honored to present this proclamation for all their hard work that they do in keeping us safe.”

With clear admiration and emotion, Rivera said: “Each of our law enforcement officers puts on their badge when they go to work and behind that badge is a heart. That heart beats for their families: their spouses, their children. On behalf of our township, my council colleagues and the Mayor, we appreciate everything they do for us and the risks they take on our behalf.

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Rivera then read from the proclamation before saying: “Therefore, be it proclaimed that we, the Township Council of the Township of Wayne proclaim January 9, 2020 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.”

Rivera handed the proclamation to Captain McDermott saying, “Captain, thank you so much for everything that you do for us. We appreciate all of you.”  The chamber broke into applause in mutual appreciation.

From the dais, Council President, Franco Mazzei spoke to McDermott: “We are so proud of your entire department. Please convey our congratulatory wishes to every member of the department, of the team and their families. We consider our police department to be the best and the finest in the state of New Jersey.”

During the portion of the meeting that allowed council comments, all of the council members took turns praising the Wayne Township Police Department.

Mazzei began: “On behalf of this Council, we truly appreciate all the sacrifices of our police department and their families. So, to every single member of the team and their families: Congratulations and most importantly, Thank you.”

Councilman Rich Jasterzbski brought up the recent tragedy in Jersey City where Detective Joseph Seals was shot and killed on duty. “That’s why we do everything we can from this dais for our police department. When they go out on a call, they all put their lives on the line for the residents of this town.”

Jasterzbski’s point struck closer to home as earlier that same day, a man tried to rob an armored car outside the Bank of America in Wayne and was shot. Though the Wayne police officers who arrived came after the shooting, it shows the randomness of violent events in an otherwise peaceful town like Wayne.

Scuralli: “It’s nice that we have a day set aside to appreciate law enforcement, but really we appreciate our law enforcement officers every day, so thank you very much for all you do.”

Not only does the Wayne Police Department keep us safe, they do so much more with new Police Chief Jack McNiff’s emphasis on community policing. Here is a quote from McNiff in September of this year when he was the Deputy Chief: “Maintaining a safe community requires building relationships through community policing efforts. By building a positive relationship with the community we serve, lines of communication are opened, and that proves to be an effective crime prevention strategy.  I am proud of the relationships our officers are building with our township”

Wayne Police attend every event in Wayne, not only to protect, but to be positive members of the community, to build trust and create positive bonds.  Its this extra effort that deserves appreciation too.