Police & Fire

Press Releases

James C. Debbie Sworn in as Union County Police Chief

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Dawn Packan, Tyler Debbie, Jim Debbie, New Police Chief James C. Debbie and Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. Credits: Jim Lowney/County of Union
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County Manager Alfred J. Faella today announced he has appointed James Christopher Debbie, a 29-year veteran of the County Police Division, as its Police Chief.

Debbie becomes the County’s 10th Police Chief in the Police Division’s history, and has served as the Officer in Charge since 2015. He will be responsible for supervising a police force of 73 sworn officers and 25 civilians. His appointment is effective immediately.

“I would like to thank the Freeholder Board and County Manager for their support and confidence,” Debbie said. “In this era, the County faces a complex set of security concerns and the County Police have evolved to become a lead agency in providing public safety and homeland security services to the region.  I look forward to working with our various partners in meeting these challenges, protecting the public and providing our services.”

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Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen congratulated Debbie on his appointment.

“Chris has led a lengthy, distinguished career in our County Police Department, and is an excellent choice to lead this vital agency,” Bergen said.  “We wish him well on his appointment and look forward to working with him.”

Debbie succeeds Daniel Vaniska, who retired in 2015 after serving as the division’s Police Chief for 13 years.

Debbie joined the County Police Department in 1988, became a Detective in 1997, a Sergeant in 2003, Lieutenant in 2007 and Captain in 2013. Along the way, he supervised detectives, Special Investigations/Narcotics, criminal investigations, internal affairs, and other high profile functions of the departments. He was also assigned to the Essex-Union Auto Theft task Force, and supervised and conducted plainclothes street narcotics operations.

As Officer in Charge for the past two years, he was the Executive Officer of County Police, and responsible for the day to day operations, answering to Department Director Andrew Moran.

The County Police division falls under the Department of Public Safety, and provides a wide variety of services to the County as a whole and the region, including:

*Cost-saving Dispatch Services for twelve EMS agencies, six fire departments and three law enforcement agencies;

*The Union County Ballistic Unit, a state-of-the-art operation that comprehensively analyzes weapons evidence, including bullets, shell casings and firearms, and provides real-time actionable intelligence to investigators and agencies;

*UC MARINE 1 and 2 which patrols County and regional waterways—including the Arthur Kill--to provide regional Homeland Security services;

*Arson Squad—important investigatory service to Fire agencies;

*Bomb Squad----vital homeland security service, recently featured in the response to the terrorist/bomb incident in Elizabeth;

*County Police—including all their functions---patrol, traffic, enforcement, etc.

*Investigative Division;

*Special Operations Unit—emergency response team.

*Child Safety Seat operations.

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Westfield

NJ Flags to Fly at Half-Staff for Jerry Green May 7

April 24, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order on Monday for New Jersey flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on the day of the upcoming General Assembly session, scheduled for May 7, in memory of Assemblyman Jerry Green, former chair of the Union County Democratic Committee, who died last week.

On Thursday, Governor Murphy had said, ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 4:00 PM

Westfield Memorial Library, Westfield

Westfield Memorial Library Spring Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment

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Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Westfield Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Government

Tue, April 24, 7:30 PM

Westfield

Westfield Board of Education Meeting

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Learning to Fly Drones at Lamberts Mill Academy

April 24, 2018

Thanks to a very generous donation from the Columbia Bank Foundation the students at Lamberts Mill Academy are learning how to build, program and fly drones. This innovative program will ensure that students gain skills needed for 21st Century employment. 

 

Lamberts Mill Academy, located in Westfield, New Jersey, is part of the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Ways to Increase Your Home's Equity

Sometimes you forget and don’t realize your home provides so much to your life. It brings along with it your dreams of the future, shelter to you and your family, a way to provide a better lifestyle, a better commute, a neighborhood, schools, community involvement and recreational facilities. But it also provides a way to save for the future. It does this by allowing you to build your ...

Westfield Public Schools Welcomes Community to Auditorium Open Houses

Two years ago, voters in Westfield approved a bond referendum to renovate the aging auditoriums in Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools. Major aspects of the renovations include new seating and flooring, electrical and lighting upgrades, state-of-the-art sound systems, acoustical treatments and air conditioning.

On April 11 and 12, students, staff, families and other members of the ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
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‘A Sad Day for Paterson’ as Police Officer Loses Life in Car Crash

April 23, 2018

PATERSON, NJ — On what Paterson Superior Officers Association President Mason Maher called “a sad day for Paterson,” a city police officer lost his life on Sunday after he was involved in a motor vehicle collision while on duty.

Several sources familiar with Sunday’s tragic accident have identified the fallen officer as Tamby Yagan, a 13-year veteran of the ...