On Friday October 25th 2019 Cedar Grove Police Officers gave a presentation to students in Mr. Valenzano’s sophomore driver education class at the Cedar Grove High School. Lt. Francis Pumphrey, Ptl. Joseph Johnson, and Det. Carolyn Lynch covered topics such as driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, perception/reaction times and the provisions of the graduated driver’s license. Students had the opportunity to wear "fatal vision googles" that simulate impairment due to alcohol. I agree with Mr. Valenzano, hopefully this will translate into years of safe and responsible driving.
On October 26th the Cedar Grove Police Department participated in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. More than one hundred residents turned in unused and expired prescription medications. Det. John Smigelsky oversaw the collection process. The program enabled the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly. Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards. The program continues to be a success. Pictured is Det. John Smigelsky with the 184 pounds of medications collected ready to be turned in.
OPERATION TAKE BACK
The Cedar Grove Police Department will be participating in the bi-annual Operation Take Back Program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This program enables the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly.
Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards.
This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Any questions regarding the collection contact Detective John Smigelsky – Jsmigelsky@cedargrovepd.org.
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Cedar Grove Police Department – 525 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
For more information about the Operation Take Back program visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov
Cedar Grove and Verona Police Chief's Challenge
Are you ready for Friday Night Football? Cedar Grove Police Chief Joseph Cirasa and Verona Police Chief Christopher Kiernan, who have been colleagues for many years as they ascended through the ranks of their respective departments, have entered into a friendly wager for charity as Verona Hillbillies take on the Cedar Grove Panthers this Friday Night at 7pm in Cedar Grove.
Born out of geographical boundaries, spirited local competition is nothing new to these lifelong residents of neighboring towns. The Police Chiefs are hoping to rally their local fan base behind local charities in the spirit of competition. In addition to football, the boy's soccer teams and girls volleyball team will collide in matches this week as well. Both towns have a rich history of tremendous student athletes and support for academic and athletic programs.
Cedar Grove Chief Cirasa has requested donations to benefit the educational fund for the children of Cedar Grove Resident Allison Walton who recently passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Residents can drop off checks made payable to "Walton Children Education Fund" in a sealed envelope at the Cedar Grove Police Desk 24 hours a day thru Saturday.
Verona Chief Kiernan has requested donations be made to Verona fights hunger week which is an annual appeal from the Verona Junior Women's Club. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off at Verona Police Desk 24 hours a day thru Saturday.
In addition to supporting these charity organizations, both Chiefs have agreed to a friendly reward to each departments members at a designated local restaurant.
The incident began on September 23, 2019 at 4:07 AM. When police were called to a Sunrise Terrace address on the report of a woman bleeding. Upon arrival Officers Michael Passafiume and Justin Westra were met by the caller, the victim’s husband. The officers found the victim, an 86 year old female, on the second floor lying in bed stabbed numerous times and bleeding profusely. The officer immediately began to control the victim's bleeding and secure the scene. They located the accused, a 60 year old Tanya Spears of Cumming, Georgia in a first floor bedroom. The Officers quickly determined that Spears, who was a house guest, had stabbed the victim approximately 15 times. She was subsequently taken into custody. The victim was transported to an area trauma center and remains in critical condition. The accused was transported and processed at Cedar Grove Police Headquarters. She was charged with Criminal Attempt to commit Murder, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful use of a weapon and Possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. Spears was transported to the Essex County Jail to await a bail hearing. The investigation is continuing with the Cedar Grove Detective Bureau executing a search warrant, and processing crime scene. No motive for the attack has been discovered.
Chief J. Cirasa
No Shave November Coming Soon.
If you happen to notice Cedar Grove Police Officers and High School Staffers looking a bit scruffy, no need for concern, it’s for a good cause. The Cedar Grove High School Staff and the Cedar Grove Police Department have partnered up for this year’s upcoming “No Shave November”. No Shave November is an annual charity event involving the growing of facial hair during the month of November in order to raise funds and cancer awareness. This year participating high school staff and officers will be donating 100% of the money raised by the group to a local family, the Waltons. Ms. Allison Walton is a single mother of three Cedar Grove students, June, Eric and Isabelle. She unfortunately continues to struggle with cancer.
Look for our collection containers at all High School Events!!
Cedar Grove Police Department
School Crossing Guards
The Cedar Grove Police Department is currently seeking applicants for the position of school crossing guard. Applications are available at the Police Records window from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Stolen Vehicle Reveals Burglary of Occupied Apartment.
The incident began on September 10, 2019 at 2:26 AM. Officer Connor Grawehr was on routine patrol south bound on Route 23. He attempted to stop a 2018 Red Volkswagen, Atlas for an observed violation. The subject vehicle turned onto Harper Ter. and pulled over briefly. It was occupied by two persons. When Officer Grawehr exited his patrol car the vehicle sped away down
Harper Ter. When Officer Grawehr next observed the vehicle it was unoccupied rolling down Harper Ter. crashing into a utility pole. Officer Grawehr chase one of the suspects on foot into the back yards of Harper Ter. Officer Dominick Buscio who arrived to assist located, a 13 year old juvenile male from Camden, hiding in the back yard of 135 Harper Ter. He was taken into custody. The second juvenile male was still at large. Officers from the surrounding towns flooded the area to conduct search. Checks of the red Volkswagen revealed that it was just stolen from 1099 Route 23 Cedar Grove. Further investigation revealed that the two male subjects had burglarized an occupied first floor apartment while the residents were asleep. One of the juveniles had entered through an open window and stole the resident’s purse containing her cars keys. While the other acted as a lookout. They then stole the resident’s car with the keys they had found. The second subject was not located, however detectives are working toward identifying him. The 13 year old juvenile was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, theft, car theft, receiving stolen property and obstruction by flight. As it turns out additional charges may be filled. The two subjects apparently had escaped form Green Residential Juvenile Detention Center in Ringwood NJ and committed a theft of a vehicle there. Little Falls and Wayne Police are also investigating the pair for vehicle burglaries and using stolen credit cards. “Fortunately no one was injured during their crime spree. Officers Grawehr and Buscio conducted themselves to the highest standards of policing and are a credit to the department”. Chief J. Cirasa
Police, Fire and EMS Respond to Structure Fire
On Thursday, August 15th 2019 at 1:50 PM, Cedar Grove Police Department received a report of a fire inside New Kitchen Restaurant at #8 Bowden Road. Upon arrival, officers found fire coming from the roof. Police immediately began evacuating the building. Cedar Grove Fire Department arrived shortly and began working on extinguishing the fire. The fire began to extend into adjacent, attached, Dry Cleaning Store. But was stopped there by firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation, however it does appear to be accidental in nature. The Montclair, Verona, North Caldwell, Caldwell and Fairfield Fire Departments assisted along with the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad. “Due to the efforts of all the first responders the fire was contained to the restaurant with some extension in the roof area of Lucy Dry Cleaners. The fire department with the assistance of the adjacent towns made a great stop. There are a number of attached business and this fire could have been far worse. Most importantly, there were no injuries reported” Chief J. Cirasa
Police Seize Handgun and Marijuana
On Thursday, August 8th 2019 at 16:51 PM, Officer Joseph Ligas of the Cedar Grove Police Department seized a handgun, and marijuana. The incident began with a routine traffic stop. The vehicle was occupied by three occupants, band members, in route to a local bar. While speaking with the subjects Officer Ligas detected the odor of marijuana emanating from both the occupants and the subject vehicle. Officers Schneider and Sgt Parisi arrived to assist. A subsequent search of revealed a jar with marijuana, paraphernalia and an unloaded Smith & Wesson M&P a 45 Cal. automatic handgun along with four magazines loaded with hollow point ammunition. The two male passengers were arrested without incident. The vehicle operator was not charged and later released from the scene. Arrested were Kevin Pipkorn, age 39, of Minneapolis, Minnesota for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and James Orput, age 32, of Minneapolis Minnesota for, possession of a handgun, possession of hollow point bullets and possession of marijuana under 50 grams. Orput, a resident of Minnesota, explained that the firearm was for personal protection. However transportation of firearm in the State of New Jersey is lawful only when the firearm is lawfully possessed in both the place they had come from and the place they were going. The Essex County Prosecutors Office authorized the charges. Pipkorn was charged then released. Orput was charged, processed, and then transported to Essex County Jail to await a bail hearing.
All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs. The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1.