By: Richard L. Smith
The East Orange Police Department (EOPD) has been awarded two significant grants totaling $1,550,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, aimed at enhancing its capacity to serve and protect the East Orange community.
The first of these grants, the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Hiring Grant, was awarded earlier this month, bringing $1,250,000 to the EOPD.
This grant will enable the department to hire or rehire ten additional career law enforcement officers, enhancing community policing efforts. The EOPD is one of 26 grantees in New Jersey to receive this support.
Additionally, EOPD secured the Rural and Small Department Violent Crime Reduction Grant, amounting to $300,000.
This grant focuses on establishing the East Orange Prevention-Focused Community Engagement Program, a strategy aimed at reducing violent crime while ensuring fair, impartial, and constitutional policing practices.
The Honorable Mayor Ted R. Green, who has emphasized public safety since his tenure began in 2018, expressed his commitment to fostering trust and mutual respect between officers and the community.
He believes these grants will enable the community and officers to collaboratively address the root causes of crime, making East Orange a safer and more cohesive community.
Planned activities include community outreach initiatives like "Coffee with a Cop," youth programs, block parties, resource fairs, and the "East Orange Cares" Initiative, with a special focus on school safety.
Bindi emphasized the importance of public perception in effective crime-fighting and the role these grants will play in enhancing manpower, transparency, and trust between the police and the community.
The department also plans to enhance its social media presence as part of the crime reduction strategy, starting with a launch event at the city's Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 7, 2023, at 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange, NJ. For more information, the public is encouraged to call 973.266.5070.