Nutley’s Lt. Mike Padilla recognized as GCADA Volunteer of the Year

NUTLEY, NJ — At the Dec. 20 Nutley Board of Commissioners meeting, Nutley Police Lt. Mike Padilla was acknowledged for his years of dedication in helping to steer today’s youth away from the dangers of drugs and alcohol. 

A Nutley resident for more than 30 years, Padilla, who has been with the Nutley Police Department since 2001, was recently recognized as the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Volunteer of the Year. In celebration of this high honor, the township presented Padilla with a proclamation for his “selfless actions” and “efforts to help guide our youth toward better decision making and choices.” 

“It’s great to be recognized,” Padilla said, adding that the recognition came by surprise. “There are a lot of people in our town and on the municipal alliance committee who put so much into what we do. Without them, there would be no way my name would have been put in for this award. A lot of involvement goes into making things happen. It’s not just the work of one person.”

As a member of the Nutley Municipal Alliance Committee, Padilla has sought out many events and programs to help educate and empower students. Through his work with the police department, Padilla has headed up the township’s Juvenile Bureau, mentoring hundreds of young students and young adults, leading them toward responsible and productive lives. He was successful in bringing to the township a “recovery van,” which allows residents with drug/alcohol concerns to seek immediate help. Padilla established Nutley’s Law Enforcement Against Drugs program, oversees the Nutley Police Academy, Police at Lunch and Partnership for Children in Essex, all programs which help direct youths toward positive decision making.

“From the start of his tenure working for Nutley Township,” Nutley Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said, “Mike has never let us down. Nutley’s most important people are our kids, and Mike has stepped up his entire career to serve them and our youths in need. Everything he does is from the heart. I can’t say I have ever met a better person.”