Before 1964, the Township of North Brunswick was policed by a part-time police department, with occasional help from the New Jersey State Police. Many stories have been told about the Town back then, including about the way the Police Officers were “dispatched”.
As lore has it, the Chief would receive all calls for service to his residence when not at work. The Officers would be out on patrol, and be required to drive past his house on a certain schedule. If a call for service had been received, the Chief would turn on his porch light to let the Officers know that they had a call. Seeing the light, they would stop, get the information from the Chief, and then go out to handle the matter.
As the Township progressed and grew, that part-time force would no longer be able to provide the service necessary. Today, Officers are driving patrol cars equipped with communications, on-board computers and printers, laser and radar units, audio and video recording, defibrillators, LED lighting, Automatic license plate readers, and more. Officers handle more incidents than ever. Today’s Officer handles a litany of jobs, ranging from traffic offenses to serious accidents, and a full gamut of criminal investigations. Yes, we have seen the Department grow and change over the past 50+ years, and we look forward to the challenges of the future.
Over the years, maintaining public order has shifted from being the primary responsibility of families, communities and individuals, with the assistance of the police, to being primarily the responsibility of the police department. Enforcing laws and exacting penalties have become the principal response to maintaining order and providing for public safety through the police.
Realizing that enforcement of laws and incarceration alone would not eliminate the root causes of crime, the North Brunswick Police Department initiated a department wide Community Operational Policing strategy in 1994.
Community Operational Policing (C.O.P.) is a partnership among all township police officers and our citizens, to work together to identify, prioritize and solve community problems and improve the quality of life in the community. Through this strategy our efforts are directed to reducing crime and the fear of crime, increasing citizen satisfaction with our services and working with other township and public agencies to solve problems that impact our residents and businesses.
Community Operational Policing is a commitment to teamwork that benefits both police and our residents. It is a problem solving effort that will work with the support of our community. Community Operational Policing attempts to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect with the residents and community leaders. This is accomplished by officers speaking formally and informally with members of the community and working together, not only to recognize problems but solve the problems together.
Pointing out crime prevention methods and establishing Neighborhood Crime Watch groups enhances the trust between officers and residents. Residents who are vacationing may notify the department and request their home be entered on a vacation checklist. This will provide our officers with emergency contact numbers or the name of a key holder, in the event of an emergency.
Officers will also make periodic checks of the home. Because of the nature of police work we may encounter problem areas that are outside the police function. Community Operational Policing has an extensive referral service which can be utilized in dealing with senior citizens in need of assistance, municipal code violations, zoning concerns, drug and alcohol abuse counseling and other areas can be referred to the appropriate municipal, county, or state agency to assist in solving the problem.
Community Operational Policing does not replace traditional policing but enhances what is in place. It is preventing crime through a partnership with you, your neighbors and your police department.
There are many different Divisions and Bureaus that make up our Department. While we strive to be well-rounded, specially trained Officers are necessary to be dedicated to specific areas. Examples of these are our Detectives, Traffic Safety Bureau, Office of Professional Standards/Internal Affairs, Narcotics/Anti-Crime, Training, Firearms staff, as well as others. All of these Units work together to make the North Brunswick Police Department function as a whole.