Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro shares his message to members of the Westfield Police Department with readers.
To All Members of the Westfield Police Department:
On Thursday, June 13, 2019, at approximately 1553 hours, the Westfield Police Department responded to Tamaques School located at 641 Willow Grove Road, Westfield NJ 07090 in an attempt to locate an individual “in crisis.” He was reportedly in a vehicle and possibly in possession of a firearm.
Officers Jeffrey Johnson and Michael Pollock subsequently located the individual in question. He was seated in a parked vehicle, directly opposite the school’s main entrance, and was armed with a .45 caliber handgun fully loaded with hollow point bullets.
The subject was disarmed and taken into custody by Officers Johnson and Pollock without incident. Two additional fully loaded magazines were located on his person and an additional 130 rounds of ammunition were later located in the vehicle’s trunk.
While the normal school day had already ended, some 30 children were still present on the school premises in an aftercare program. Each was taken into protective custody while the interior and exterior of the school was searched for additional weapons and/or other possible evidence.
While the explicit purpose this subject’s presence at Tamaques School may never be known for sure, I think we can all infer the worst was entirely possible.
I wish to commend all of those officers, detectives and supervisors who responded to this incident. I am certain that your brave and courageous actions thwarted any chance of tragedy and ensured the safety and well-being of all those children.
I am extremely proud of each and every one of you. Please know that it is an extreme honor for me to serve as your Chief and to call you my brother and sister officers.
Chief Christopher Battiloro
Westfield Police Department