IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss used his annual State of the Township Address at Christian Pentecostal Church on Clinton Avenue on Thursday, Jan. 28, as a platform to announce Irvington’s new partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Vauss introduced Brad Cohen, the special agent in charge and assistant director of the FBI’s Newark office, to the audience that packed the church for the address, saying the new partnership with the FBI is ongoing.
“How it works is we also give them one of our guys to work with them, to better form a collaboration,” said Vauss on Tuesday, Feb. 16. “We have the stats from December and January and we made 187 arrests in December and 209 in January. We got almost 10 guns, from shotguns to Uzis.’”
Vauss said the new partnership with the FBI, coupled with his administration’s efforts to beef up the local law enforcement, are key to his commitment to make Irvington “clean and safe,” which is why he also used the address as an opportunity to officially rollout the new Public Safety Department’s Special Emergency Response Team.
“I announced the S.E.R.T. team in January, but they have been out there working since December,” Vauss said. “They’ve been working in partnership with the new intelligence unit. And now they’ll be working with the FBI. We recently had a prescription drug bust. It’s all part of the effort to make Irvington clean and safe.”
On Saturday, Feb. 6, Vauss and Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers announced the prescription drug bust, saying more than 95 bottles of illegally obtained prescription drugs and hundreds of dollars were confiscated with a search warrant from a house on Stockman Place.
“I am pleased to announce that our Police Department busted up an illegal prescription drug ring today,” said Vauss on Saturday, Feb. 6. “Through the great work of our men and women of the department and the great leadership of Public Safety Director Bowers, we were able to once again let criminals know Irvington is not where you want to do your crimes.”
Bowers said two people were arrested and approximately $750 was seized, in addition to the drugs found in the Stockman Place residence.
“Today, another two individuals were shown that the Irvington Police Department will search you out and stop your illegal activity, if you make the mistake to do it in Irvington,” said Bowers on Saturday, Feb. 6. “Mayor Vauss has repeatedly said that it is his goal to make Irvington safer and cleaner. The Irvington Police Department is proud to make this happen.”
Cohen said the FBI is happy to lend Irvington a helping hand and that he was impressed by the town’s commitment to crime-fighting displayed at the State of the Township Address, saying it was a good sign for the future prosperity of the partnership with local authorities.
At the address, Cohen said, “Irvington is on the map and we want to get it off the map by lowering and eliminating crime. We’ll partner with the Irvington Police Department to bring crime down in Irvington.”
Cohen said the FBI’s vast resources are now available to Vauss and Irvington, including the Newark office and all the field offices in the country.
“That’s a global enterprise,” said Cohen. “There’s no fence or border around the federal government. We have over 700 agents here in New Jersey. Thanks for the support and partnership.”