The Maplewood Police Department reached out twice to the community on Tuesday, August 5.
As announced last week, the MPD provided an event to meet and mingle with the community for National Night Out at DeHart Park on Burnett Avenue.
Earlier in the day, Maplewood Police Chief Robert Cimino released a statement reinforcing the police department’s “Stay Alert and Call Police First” campaign.
“Over the past year, Maplewood Police have investigated a variety of incidents where residents have been victimized or witnessed suspicious activity, but have waited to call or failed to call the police for assistance,” read the release. “The result of waiting to call the police is always a delayed police response and limited opportunity for officers to investigate or help quickly.”
The release reports that the failure to call police has resulted in incidents in town where suspects have been able to escape and/or commit crimes.
Cimino asked that residents observing suspicious activity “don’t wait to speak with a friend or relative first, don’t call a friend first and don’t just talk about it with a neighbor.”
Rather, anyone seeing suspicious activity should “Call the Police First.”
At National Night Out, officers manned tables where they handed out brochures and pamphlets on public safety issues — and reinforced the “Call Police First” message. Officers Steven Gyimoty was signing up residents for free home security surveys and explaining the process. Police also gave away fun stuff including bags of popcorn and fire hats courtesy of the Maplewood Fire Department.
The event was enlivened by DJs, face painting by Debbie Kirkland, a bouncy house, a firetruck, an ice cream truck, a dunk tank and a visit from Amateur Astronomers Inc.
For more information about the “Stay Alert and Call Police First” campaign, read the Summer 2014 edition of the Maplewood Leaflet here. Call 911 for emergencies and call 973-762-3400 for general public safety information.