FAIRFIELD, NJ — At the November Fairfield Township Council meeting, Mayor James Gasparini informed the public that the Fairfield Police Department building was officially closed to the public on Monday, Nov. 26. The council also encouraged residents to attend Sunday’s Winter Wonderland Extravaganza at 4 p.m. (more details below).

According to Gasparini, Fairfield police operations will be temporarily located in a trailer located adjacent to the municipal building parking lot while renovations to the police headquarters are made over the next 14 months.

“Citizens seeking to speak to a police officer, file a police report or conduct other emergent police business should go to this trailer,” said Gasparini, adding that the chief’s office, other police administration and the department records room are now located in the municipal building. “The police department wants all citizens to know that this move will not disrupt any police services they currently receive.”

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The mayor said that the police department thanked all citizens who have participated in their two charitable events: Operation Christmas Child (OCC) and the Holiday Food Drive. Citizens filled shoeboxes with various items for underprivileged children as part of OCC and donated non-perishables for the food drive.

“Because of their generosity, 153 shoeboxes filled with a variety of items, toys and other necessities will be sent to children around the world, and many needy families in our area will have food for the holidays distributed from Fairfield’s St. Thomas More Food Pantry,” said Gasparini.

The police department will continue to serve as a collection site for the United States Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” campaign throughout the holiday season. Citizens are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toys to the lobby of the police trailer to be distributed to children in need.

Additionally, Gasparini acknowledged the death of James Lowe, who was on the Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department for more than 57 years.

“Jim was a great guy and mentor to many firefighters,” said Gasparini. “He had a heart of gold. Our prayers go out to the family.”

Explaining that he got to know Lowe personally over the last 10 years as liaison to the volunteer fire department, Councilman Michael McGlynn said that Lowe loved his community, especially the fire department, and that he was a leader and took an active interest in the town.

“Fairfield would not be Fairfield without people like Jim Lowe,” said McGlynn.

Council President John LaForgia added that Lowe would be greatly missed, and Councilman Thomas Morgan said that “Jim always spoke his mind.”

According to Morgan, Lowe regularly attended council meetings and was a pioneer of Fairfield who helped make the township what it is today.

“Jim’s heart was always in the right place,” said Joseph Catenaro, township administrator. “He spoke his mind even when it was not popular.”

In other news, the council encouraged residents to attend the annual Winter Wonderland Extravaganza at the Hollywood Avenue recreation center on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the event will feature an iceless ice skating rink, Everest climb-n-slide, snow maze and Christmas tree bounce house, snow globe, trackless train, old town Christmas carolers, horse and carriage rides, interactive Christmas ornament for family pictures, photos with Santa, hot pretzels, roasted chestnuts, an indoor café serving coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and cookies. This is a drug and alcohol free sponsored event.

At 6 p.m., the four-year-old Busy Hands class will sing holiday songs followed by recreation’s king and queen welcoming the township’s “Special Guest” and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

The next Fairfield council meeting will be on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.

Gaparini said that the public portion of the next meeting will likely begin around 8 p.m. because the council will be interviewing candidates for the police department at the start of the 6 p.m. meeting.