the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The New Jersey Transit Police Department has expanded its Community Outreach Unit from two to five officers, allowing for more ways to help those in need and to help maintain a safe and healthy environment for all.
“The New Jersey Transit Police Department is one of the best trained and most professional police departments in the country, and a community-based policing approach brings help to the people who need it the most,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT is not only committed to providing safe and essential transit services throughout the state for those who depend on us, we are equally committed to being good community partners.”
Officer Sean Pfeifer has been with the Community Outreach Unit for three years, serving those in the Newark Transit District. Joining Pfeifer on the expanded team, and the transit districts they will be assigned to, are Michael Coletta, Hoboken and Secaucus; Robert Furlong, Trenton; Megan Ninkovic, Atlantic City; and Kayla Yong, Camden.
“This team of highly motivated and committed officers will work as one cohesive unit in various transit districts statewide to provide help and attempt to connect people to services,” said SVP, Chief of New Jersey Transit Police and Office of Emergency Management Christopher Trucillo. “Each officer was hand chosen by their Commanding Officer for this assignment and each one expressed an interest in performing this difficult work. I feel fortunate to have officers that have the empathy and resolve to want to help others. We understand that people want a healthy environment before they return to mass transit and that extends beyond just clean trains and buses; that includes the conditions within our stations and terminals. This Outreach Unit will help create a safer and healthier environment for our customers as they gradually return to use our service.”
One example of the Community Outreach Unit’s goals is early intervention work such as a monthly Social Outreach Program. In this program, the officers work in a coordinated effort with various state and local social services organizations and the judicial system to help connect at-risk individuals with the services they need. This program gives the homeless and at-risk individuals a one-stop location for direct access to services including healthcare, housing, veterans’ programs, rehabilitation and other critical resources. It also provides the ability to resolve outstanding issues with the judicial system that often prevent someone from having access to social services. The program concept helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and social services to improve the health and well-being of those in need who frequent mass transit facilities.