Director Edward Kirschenbaum and Detective Michael Vollbrecht of the Neptune City Police Department presented plans for a Neighborhood Watch Program to the Borough Council this week.
The program was initially discussed in January with Mayor Robert Brown, Kirschenbaum, Capt.Louis Trocchio and Lt. Matthew Quagliato.
“Knowing that the Police Department can’t be everywhere,” Kirschenbaum said. “We’re thinking how proactive we can be with our neighborhoods.”
The proposed Neighborhood Watch Program would break the town up into eight difference sections where a patrol officer would cover that section of town. Each section would then have a neighborhood watch zone that would be no more than an eight street radius. These zones would have a resident named as Watch Captain. The Watch Captain would be responsible to attend the monthly Neighborhood Watch meetings as well as encourage new and current neighbors to proactive about protecting the neighborhood. Detective Vollbrecht said that residents are more likely to know when something is out of place.
“We want to empower the residents to have a greater grasp on what’s behind this, what to look for, what to report to us,” Vollbrecht said. “And the difference between reporting to us immediately instead of three days later. If we get a report immediately, we can really make a difference. It will make our job a little bit easier.”
Both Vollbrecht and Kirschenbaum said the program is an effort to bring the community together, while encouraging a dialogue between the police department and the residents.
“We want you to call no matter how insignificant something may be,” Kirschenbaum said. “You’re not bothering us. We want to be there to solve the crime before the perpetrator can get away. That’s our goal.”
“I think it’s a great program and you know you have 100 percent of my support,” the mayor said.
“Thank you all for continuing to have good relations with our residents,” said Councilwoman Pamela Renee. “The effort that you’re continuing to put forward is wonderful.”
In addition to the proposed Neighborhood Watch Program, Kirschenbaum said that the instillation of CCTV and cameras are important for businesses. This program has assisted in solving two crimes within the last two months in the Stop & Shop shopping center.
After the presentation, Brown announced that Kirschenbaum had received an award from Southern Counties Narcotics Task Force and Commander’s Association of the State of New Jersey. He was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award on May 15 for his continued devotion to Top Gun training throughout the eastern seaboard since 1994.
Director Kirschenbaum’s involvement in the program allows the Neptune City Police Department to attend any schools involved with the Attorney General’s Office free of charge. Through his work, Kirschenbaum is also currently mentoring 24 young adults for opiate addiction.
“I can tell you the Neptune City Police Department is at the top of the curve and the town should know that,” said Councilman John More who has legally trained law enforcement in 35 states for the last 18 years.