Maplewood Police and Fire South Orange

Maplewood and South Orange Police Host National Night Out Events August 7

Both the Maplewood and South Orange police departments will be observing National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7 with community-wide celebrations.

Maplewood will be hosting an event from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at De Hart Park, 120 Burnett Avenue. The event includes “a night filled with music, food and fun.”

South Orange is planning a public safety fair that will include a Kids Zone, bounce houses, water slides, other activities, merchandise giveaways, food trucks and an outdoor movie (The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman). The South Orange event will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the movie beginning at 8:30 p.m. Location is Floods Hill.

According to a notice in the South Orange Village Vibe, “National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood cooperation in order to make our neighborhoods safer. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while demonstrating a real sense of community. It provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together for an evening of information and fun.”

Last year, protests interrupted the Maplewood National Night Out observance after video was released showing police punching and kicking a handcuffed teen a year earlier. Simultaneous to the Maplewood 2017 National Night Out event, the Maplewood Township Committee called for Police Chief Robert Cimino’s resignation, cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership and placed him on 60-day administrative leave. Cimino ultimately took early retirement. Since that night, the Township has pledged to increase and improve training for police and overhaul the department. The Township has promoted a new Chief of Police [Jim DeVaul]after a very public search and public presentation by finalists, and is in the process of creating a Community Policing Board. Tomorrow night, new Deputy Chief Albert Sally and new Captain Kevin Kisch will be sworn in at the Township Committee meeting.

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