EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange Police Department recently welcomed a new class of rookies.
According to 5th Ward Councilwoman Alicia Holman, chairwoman of the council’s public safety committee, “we just had a ceremony on Thursday, June 16, where we received six officers from our police academy. They just graduated the police academy and joined the police department force. We welcomed them to the city and the EOPD family.
“I expect them to serve with pride, dedication and, most of all, courtesy, respect and professionalism to not only to one another, but to our constituents,” she said Saturday, June 18.
Holman said she’s a firm believer in community policing and that it is imperative for police officers to have open lines of communication with the people they are responsible for protecting and serving.
“That’s very important, when dealing with the public,” said the councilwoman. “You are a public servant. You’re upholding the law but, most importantly, you’re a public servant.”
She said she has charged each veteran East Orange police officer with helping the new recruits along, and taking them under their wing.
Holman also said, even though she believes the timing of the currently pending police and fire union contract talks is a good thing, she doesn’t necessarily believe it has any bearing on the EOPD rookies in any way.
“Unfortunately, this administration is picking up from the tail end of the former administration. I’m not one to place blame on anyone, but you had to give this administration time to come in and just settle and see where we were.”
She said Mayor Lester Taylor is in his third year in office which helps his administration to finally resolve ongoing situations that existed when he was sworn into office.
Attempts to reach Taylor about the newest additions to the EOPD were unsuccessful by press time this week; however, the mayor has previously discussed the department and its mission in the overall effort to transform the city into a destination city and to fulfill his administration’s drive for urban excellence.
“The goal of the East Orange Police, Fire and Emergency Management departments has always been to serve and protect the community. Under the umbrella of one unified Department of Public Safety, the brave men and women of these departments have now been able to work cohesively to maximize resources and provide improved and more efficient services to the people of East Orange,” said Taylor on Tuesday, May 17.
“I commend the leadership of Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley. In a very short amount of time, she has helped to bring out the very best in our personnel, especially those who are on the front lines of fighting crime every day.”