Garwood Police Alerts and Updates
The Garwood Police Department
Phone: 908-789-1500

Current updates and alerts for the Borough of Garwood

403 South Avenue 
Garwood, NJ 07027
Chief James Wright
Fax: 908-789-2804
Contact Us
​NON-Emergency only

Garwood Police Alerts and Updates

Toys For Tots Pickup

by Garwood Police Department on 12/16/17

Packed up and ready to go! Once again thank you all for your generous donations. A little over 400 toys in total were collected for this years Marines' Toys for Tots. Special thank you to Kessler's Corner, ShopRite of Garwood, The Garwood Rest, The Garwood First Aid Squad, and the Garwood Fire Department, for their combined efforts in collecting the donations for this wonderful cause.

Toys for Tots Drive

by Garwood Police Department on 12/15/17

With the help of the Garwood Fire Department, Lincoln School and local businesses, The Garwood Rest and Kessler's Corner, The Garwood PBA had a very successful Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. This event is very special to Sergeant Lewis and Lt Rocco as they have both served honorably in the Marine Corps. Our thanks go out to everyone that help make the holiday season better for those in need.

Pictured from L-R are Sergeant Philip Lewis, Garwood Fire Chief Len Spina, Garwood Rest employee Marilyn Petraccoro, and Lt Samuel Rocco.

Check your Halloween Candy!

by Garwood Police Department on 10/26/17

Please check your children's candy!or these items!

NJ Register Ready Program

by Garwood Police Department on 09/05/17

With the storm season rapidly approaching and the devastating blow Hurricane Harvey left to the state of  Texas, Chief Wright and the Garwood Police Department are urging all residents who have special needs or caregivers of special needs residents to sign up with NJ Register Ready. Register Ready is New Jersey's Special Needs Registry for Disasters and allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency.

The information collected here is confidential an will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning. To register online with NJ Register Ready go to (to register on the website all that's needed is a current email address to create an account) or call 2-1-1 toll free. A link on the left column of our homepage will be available for future registrants.

Why should you register?

Exclamation To be notified by local officials when an evacuation has been ordered.

Lt. Rocco honored by the Garwood Municipal Alliance

by Garwood Police Department on 05/11/17

The Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse celebrated the Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Galloping Hill Caterers on May 9th. Garwood's own Lt. Sam Rocco was recognized by the Garwood Municipal Alliance for his tireless dedication to the D.A.R.E. program in Lincoln School and his volunteer service on the Alliance. Shown with him is Barbara Tweedle Chair of the Garwood Municipal Alliance who presented the award. Congratulations Lt. Rocco!

Chief Underhill Retires after 30 Years In Garwood

by Garwood Police Department on 03/24/17

In a few weeks Spring will have sprung and the community will begin to bloom once again.  This is also true for the Garwood Police Department.  2017 will be yet another marker year for the Police Department with several personnel changes and promotions.  Retirements and resignations are the driving force behind this change.   Springtime is known as a time for "rebirth", and so it will be for the Department.

Dispatcher Cassandra Crooks has decided to leave us for economic reasons, moving on to greener pastures.  We will miss her and wish her the best in her new position.  The process to fill her vacancy has begun.  School Guard Lauren Montagne has also decided to leave us and move on to retirement.  Lauren was with us a total of 9 years and will be missed.  We wish her smooth sailing as she enters this phase of her life.  Victoria Kearney was advanced from her Alternate School Guard position to fill the vacancy.  Victoria lives in town with her husband Vincent and their children and we welcome her to our staff.   Officer Roberto Camporeale was hired to fill the vacancy created by Chiefs Underhill's planned retirement.  "Rob" previously served 9 years as a Sheriff's Officer with the Hudson County Sheriff's Office where he was a highly trained and respected officer.  Officer Camporeale is married and he and his wife Maria are expecting their first child.  We also welcome him to our team and hope that everyone takes the opportunity to meet and greet him.

Personally, having reached 30+ years as a Garwood Police Officer (the last 6 as Chief), I have decided to retire.  It gives me great pleasure to know that my entire career in law enforcement has been spent with, and dedicated to, the Borough of Garwood.  Growing up just over the border in Westfield, I always considered Garwood my adopted town.  I'd like to thank the residents and business owners for the opportunity to serve the community and the honor of becoming the ninth Chief of Police in the Borough of Garwood.

I have had the pleasure of serving under five of Garwood's prior Chiefs and can say that I learned something from each one of them and that they each left a positive mark on the Department.  It is every Chiefs desire to carry on the progress while protecting and serving the community.  I was fortunate to inherit a stable Department that was in a "good place" and I believe I leave it now in an even better place. 

Almost immediately after assuming office six years ago, the department was met with the challenges of Hurricane Irene, followed by a Halloween Ice Storm in October 2011 and then Super Storm Sandy in 2012.  It was apparent that several areas needed to be addressed to better provide for public safety during such events.  The Emergency Operations Plan was updated and several related equipment needs were addressed.  Grants were found to offset costs and additional equipment totaling approximately half a million dollars was obtained via the Federal 1033 LESO program - at no cost.     

One of my main goals was to make the Department more user friendly for the residents and community.  Social media seemed the best way to start and so the Police Department now maintains our own web site, which was created and constructed by Captain Stoffer for the Department - well done!  This site enables residents to not only contact us, but to access many forms necessary to conduct various police related business.  The Alerts and Updates page is kept current and we post a wealth of information on it, particularly during emergencies such as severe weather incidents.  Users can also access the site and learn about the Department by reading not only the sites pages, but our End Of Year Reports which we began in 2014 and post on the site.  The Police Department uses our site to get information out to the public in conjunction with NIXLE, UC First Alert, and Twitter.  Due to heightened exposure  to computer viruses, the Department does not maintain a Facebook account for informational purposes.  We also expanded our Community Policing program making greater efforts to increase face time with our residents.  Along that line, we reestablished our Bicycle Patrol program to be more visible and accessible.

In 2015, the Dispatch Center under went a complete makeover.  Having updated the 911 system and radio repeaters a year prior, it was time to address the original 1980's vintage console which was replaced with new radio equipment adding two dispatch terminals for redundancy.  All the support equipment such as our recorders and peripherals were replaced.   On and offsite CCTV was installed, and a multitude of cosmetic improvements were made to make the most of the small space we occupy.  2016 saw the addition of a dedicated interview room to assist with mandated statement taking.  The construction of a space dedicated to just the processing of our "guests" assisted in preparing us for the requirements mandated by the 2014 Bail Reform Act.  Additionally, an office was established for use by the shift supervisor to accomplish supervisory tasks without distraction.  Again a special thanks to Captain Stoffer who both led and assisted me with these construction improvements - again at no cost to the Borough.

Due to increasing call volume (over 21,000 calls for service in 2015), an additional man was reassigned to supplement the Detective Division, and we also established a dedicated traffic Division manned by a trained traffic investigator.  With the increase in Active Shooter incidents nationally, the departments weapons platform was upgraded and hands on training instituted.  Training was emphasized with all personnel having been assigned or having the opportunity to attend training related to field operations, tactical operations, law enforcement theory, supervisory management and police administration, to name a few.

So as I end my tour as Chief, I know the Department is up to date, the staff is well educated and our officers are dedicated to our stated mission.  Through the years the residents of Garwood have enjoyed a tremendous return on their investment in terms of their Police Department.  Garwood enjoys the services of a 21st century, professional law enforcement agency capable of meeting the challenges of the future.  Again, I thank you all for the opportunity and honor of serving the Borough of Garwood and leading the men and women of the Garwood Police Department.  Health and happiness to all!


by Garwood Police Department on 03/13/17

A strong offshore low will produce significant snowfall for NJ Monday night into Tuesday.  A blizzard warning is in effect for eastern counties in NJ from 8PM today to Tuesday night.  Impact to NJ as follows:

Snow will be heaviest late Monday night and Tuesday morning with snow accumulation rates of 2-4" per hour on Tuesday.  Heavy snow will impede travel through Tuesday.  Snow & Wind may cause downed trees and power lines.  Winds of 15-30 mph are possible with gusts of 35-50 mph possible especially along the coast.  Minor to moderate costal flooding is possible Tuesday Am.

Important ... NS garbage pickup for Tuesday March 14 has been cancelled.

Reminder, vehicles must be removed from the roadway after three inches have accumulated.  This will occur during the overnight hours so plan ahead.  Check with the Police Dispatch Desk 908 789-1500 for additional parking that may be available (no guarantees).  Sidewalks must be cleared all the way to the corners within 24 hours.  Please do not throw snow into the roadway.  Pace yourselves and you clear snow.  Take breaks and drink plenty of water.  Be sure to stock up on water, food and gas for snow blowers or generators in advance.  Do not use generators indoors.


Beware of Illegal Solicitations

by Garwood Police Department on 03/04/17

The Police Department has received several complaints regarding companies soliciting residents for Solar Companies.  Field agent for these companies are representing themselves as agents of the State and are requesting to see a residents electrical meters  They state that the State will be changing all meters.  To the best of our knowledge this is not true. 

Police responded to a complaint of a suspicious person and spoke to an agent of Trinity Solar who was soliciting Solar accounts without a permit.  Their ID tags represent them as agents of the Board of Utilities, and this particular individual misrepresented his purpose and agency affiliation.  Trinity Solar is a legitimate solar sales company, however, they have not obtained a permit to solicit in Garwood. 

Additionally, and unrelated to these energy solicitations, is a professional solicitation company called Flying Flyers.  This company distributes advertising for companies for a fee.  They do this going door to door leaving door hangers.  In Garwood a permit is needed for this purpose and Flying Flyers has NOT been issued a permit to do this in Garwood. Residents who observe such activity or receive unwanted solicitations should call the Dispatch Center (789-1500) and report  the activity.

While illegal solicitors are usually legitimate companies who are just conducting business without the proper local permit, residents should always be aware of scam artists who prey on residents via distraction or fraud.  NEVER invite unknown people into your home unless you have made an appointment with a known vender for a specific purpose.  ALAWAYS look for or request personal and corporate identification.  DO NOT allow yourself to be distracted for lengthy periods of time at the front door or in your home. 

When in doubt - call the Dispatch Center and request Police response.   Obtaining identification information or a license plate number for the individual is always a big help but above all, always think safety for you and your family.


St Patricks Greetings From The Garwood Police

by Garwood Police Department on 02/16/17

Call a Taxi Before You Turn Green!

Between 2011 and 2015 252 died in car crashes during

the St Patrick's Day holiday.

Buzzed driving IS drunk driving!

South Side Garbage Pickup is Cancelled

by Garwood Police Department on 02/08/17

The south side garbage pick up for Thursday is cancelled due to the anticipated snow. Regular pick up will resume next week.