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

Snow Emergency Parking

by Garwood Police Department on 02/08/17

A winter storm warning is in effect for late tonight and to continue through Thursday night.  Heavy snow accumulations are expected.  All vehicles must be removed from the roadway to allow for plowing – no exceptions.  Any vehicle left on the roadway will be ticketed and possibly towed in accordance with LO 21-6. For further information or questions, contact Police HQ at 908-789-1500.

South Avenue & Center Street Traffic Light Uplift

by Garwood Police Department on 01/30/17

The new Traffic Light at South Avenue and Center Street has finally been installed.  Please note that the left turn arrows for North & West  bound traffic have been eliminated.  In those directions, traffic makes the turn with the regular green light.  The Lights have a backing that will drastically cut down on sun glare in the late afternoon and allow better visibility when approaching the lights.  The stop lines for both lanes at the intersection will be moved back slightly with a greater regress for the left turn lane.  This will allow for truck traffic to better maneuver through their turns.

The poles & pedestrian walk / don't walk signs where chosen to compliment our decorative street light decor.  The sidewalks will be restored with concrete and the decorative bricks once the weather breaks.  In the mean time, the Chief of Police has requested that the construction zone be completely back filled with black top for pedestrian safety. 

Please let us know if you experience any problems with intersection. 



Burrr - Time for the Wood Burning Stove or Fireplace!

by Garwood Police Department on 12/12/16


With colder weather and the holidays approaching, the Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents to practice safety and take steps to reduce the impact burning wood has on air quality in their homes and neighborhoods.

"Burning wood whether in fireplaces, wood burning stoves or outdoor boilers, can help reduce energy costs and add cozy ambience to any home as the weather turns colder" according to DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, "but burning wood can also produce small particles and other pollutants that can be significantly reduced with some common-sense practices, better protecting your health as well as your neighbors' and creating a climate for a safer, more enjoyable season."     

For some people, even short-term exposure to wood smoke can aggravate heart or lung conditions.  Children, teen agers, older adults and people with lung disease such as Asthma, COPD or heat disease are more susceptible to the effects of wood smoke   


The DEP recommends the following these guidelines when burning wood at home.

  • Burn only seasoned wood.  Seasoning means allowing wood to sit outdoors for at least 6 months before burning it.  This allows the moisture to evaporate and burn more efficiently.  Seasoned wood is darker and has cracks in it.  It sounds hollow when hit with an object.  Wood burns most efficiently when the moisture content is below 20 percent.
  • Stack cut wood off the ground and cover the top with a tarp to protect from rain & snow.  Keep stacked wood away from the house or fire pit to avoid insects or sparks from igniting the stack.
  • Start fires with newspaper and kindling.  Keep fire hot and remove ashes to allow for airflow.
  • Never burn garbage, plastic, wrapping material, painted or treated wood in your fireplace.
  • Keep all flammable items away from your fireplace and keep a charges fire extinguisher near by in case of emergency.
  • Have chimneys cleaned regularly by a certified chimney sweep.  Nearly 7% of house fires are caused by the build up of creosote in the chimney.  Signs of a chimney fire are flames coming out the top of the chimney or the sound of a freight train coming from the chimney.
  • Consider using a HEPA filters in the same room as the fireplace.  This can reduce indoor particle pollution by as much as 60%.  
  • State and some municipal regulations may prohibit visible smoke being emitted from a wood stove or boiler.  Check with your local authority.

For more information on wood burning in New Jersey, visit:

For more on the EPA’s Burnwise program, visit:


Speed Signs Posted

by Garwood Police Department on 11/11/16

In an effort to reduce the speeds on several of the Boroughs backstreets, portable speed advisory signs have been placed in the most active areas.  Although  statistics gathered over recent years do no indicate a sustained speeding problem, residents have still voiced concerns over some motorists that speed through town.

The Police Department is currently waiting to receive grant money applied for to cover the cost of solar powered feed back radar signs for several areas around the Borough.  In the mean time The Department has purchased portable traffic bollards which display the posted speed limit and the message "Slow Down" on a highly reflective backing.  These bollards are currently being displayed on the 400 block of Fourth Avenue, the 10 block of Second Avenue and the 400 and 500 blocks of Spruce Avenue.  Additional signs have been placed on Center Street as well.   

Chief Underhill reports that "initial data obtained since installation, indicates a 5-8 mph decrease in speed.  Because these bollards are portable, we can move them as needed to calm traffic where problems are detected.  Additionally, this is an economical way to address our issues without having to take drastic steps such as installing Speed Bumps or Humps.  Resident s should be aware that these traffic bollards are in the roadway and use caution."

The Garwood Police ask that residents please drive carefully, buckle up and obey the speed limit.  We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Fall Is In The Air

by Garwood Police Department on 10/27/16

Autumn has arrived and the temperatures are dropping.  So as you set your clocks back on Sunday November 6th please remember the following safety tips:

  • Change the batteries in your smoke / CO2 detectors.
  • Be careful walking & driving on wet leaves 
  • The sun is lower in the sky - be prepared for sun glare when driving.
  • Keep a close eye on your fire pits and always use the spark screen.
  • Detach and drain garden hoses. 

The annual Lions Club Halloween Parade will be held on Monday the 31st at 7:00pm.  Center Street will be closed to traffic from Willow to South at 6:00pm.  Participants will gather on Center in the area of Houghton Plaza (Municipal Lot #1) at 6:30 and the parade will begin at 7pm sharp heading toward Lincoln School for the costume judging contest.  Center street will be reopened immediately after the parade clears the area.

There are no set hours for trick or treating - common sense prevails.  Please be respectful of your neighbors and their property.  Cross at corners where cars expect you to be and wear brighter costumes with large eye holes.  Masks should be removed when entering any business and please refrain from wearing any "creepy clown" costumes.  The Garwood Police will be out and visibly, looking after your kids and for those ghouls who might be out doing mischief.  Be aware and "Quote the Raven - Nevermore"!

OPERATION TAKE-BACK 10-22-2016 10:00-4:00

by Garwood Police Department on 10/19/16

The Garwood Police Department will again be a drop off location for this initiative. All unused prescription medications can be dropped off for safe disposal on Saturday, October 22nd 2016 at Garwood Police HQ.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Mosquito Spraying

by Garwood Police Department on 09/01/16

Please be advised: Union County will be spraying for mosquito's tonight 9-1-16 between 7pm and 12:00 am in the area of Hickory Avenue.  This is part of on going efforts throughout Union County.

County To Make Improvements at South Ave. & Center St.

by Garwood Police Department on 09/01/16

In March of 2014, Union County advised Garwood that they intended to make improvements to the intersection of South Avenue and Center Street. 

The project will include new arced traffic poles painted black to match our decorative street lights located in our business districts.   The traffic lights will have non reflective backing plates so that the lights can be seen better from all directions and at all times of the day.  The stop lines in the left turn lanes NB & EB will set back further to allow better navigation by larger trucks.  Each light will have battery back-up to allow for power outages and all the wiring will be upgraded. 

Planning and meetings continued through 2014, 2015 and into 2016.  On Monday August 22nd this work finally began.  The project is expected to take approximately 30-45 days.   At least one officer will be on site daily while work takes place, for the duration of the project.  The Garwood Police will also assist our School Guards to ensure the safety of our kids while walking to and from school.  We apologize for the short notice and appreciate your patience and added caution while this work takes place. 

Summers Here & So Is the Heat

by Garwood Police Department on 07/06/16

The hazy hot and humid days of summer of 2016 have arrived.  The Garwood Police Department would like to remind residents to take pro active measures to protect yourself from heat related health issues.  Resident s who do not have access to air conditioning, may come to Borough Hall and cool off.  Bathrooms and water are available and this is a great time to visit with members of the Police Department or take a tour of your Police Headquarters. 

The following are some tips and reminders  for residents to "breeze" through these warmer days: 

  1. Heat Stroke in Vehicle:  Every 10 days, vehiclular heat stroke kills a child in the United States.  Animals are unfortunately victims too.  Please remember not to leave children or animals in your vehicles for any amount of time, unattended or while parked.  It only takes a few minutes.
  2. Dress in loose, lightly colored clothing.  Limit outdoor activity
  3. Set AC units on 72 to maintain a comfortable and economical temperature.
  4. Pull shades and curtains shut to keep daily sun out and interior temperatures cooler.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
  6. Cool body temperature down with cool showers.
  7. Use ceiling and floor fans to move the air in your home and be sure to keep cords out of travel paths. Don't overload sockets.
  8. Cook outdoors on the grill during the evening hours when the sun is not as strong if possible.  Compliment your BBQ's with salads & non cooked items.
  9. Less electrical use will lower the community draw and lower bills.
  10. Check on neighbors and the elderly

Call 911 for any emergency and enjoy a safe and happy summer!


by Garwood Police Department on 06/27/16

Garwood's school year finished up June 17th.  Many schools in our surrounding Communities finish up June 24th.  With this, our kids will be more active during the day and the Garwood Police Department urge drivers to be alert for their presence and activities.

The Garwood Recreation program begins June 27 and continues through August, with hour of operation from 9am to 12 noon at the Sports and Athletic Field Complex.  Please be advised that officers will be stopping by the SAF from time to time, during the hours of operation to say hello to the kids and touch bases with the councilors.

Enjoy and have a safe summer!