Day: December 21, 2020

AG Grewal Overhauls Statewide Police Use of Force Policies

Sweeping New Rules Place Strict Limits on Use of Force, Establish New Framework for Civilian Interactions; Will Apply to All 38,000 Officers in New Jersey

December 21, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced a comprehensive package of policies designed to limit the use of force by New Jersey’s 38,000 state, county, and local law enforcement officers. The sweeping changes include the first revision to the Attorney General’s “Use of Force Policy” in two decades and reaffirm New Jersey’s status as a national leader in progressive policing reform.

Today’s policies, issued pursuant to the Attorney General’s statutory authority as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, reflect a new statewide framework for police interactions with civilians— the first of its kind in the United States and one which calls upon law enforcement to protect the life, liberty and dignity of residents in every interaction. At the heart of the new framework is the revised Use of Force Policy, which among other things:

  • Prohibits all forms of physical force against a civilian, except as a last resort and only after the officer attempts to de-escalate the situation and provides the civilian with an opportunity to comply with the officer’s instructions;
  • Prohibits all forms of deadly force against a civilian – including chokeholds and strikes to the head or neck – except as an absolute last resort when the officer reasonably believes that such action is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury;
  • Prohibits officers from firing weapons at a moving vehicle or engaging in a high-speed car chase, except under narrowly limited circumstances;
  • Provides new guidance on the use of less-lethal force as an alternative to deadly force and as a tool for de-escalation;
  • Establishes an affirmative “duty to intervene” that requires all officers – regardless of rank, title, or seniority – to intercede if they observe another officer engage in illegal or excessive force against a civilian; and
  • Establishes an affirmative “duty to provide medical assistance” that requires officers to request – and, where appropriate, personally provide – medical assistance after any use of force against a civilian.

In addition, today’s announcement includes several significant policies designed to ensure compliance with the revised Use of Force Policy and help New Jersey’s law enforcement officers incorporate its principles into their daily work. These policies issued today by Attorney General Grewal provide that:

  • All 38,000 state, county, and local law enforcement officers in New Jersey must complete an immersive, two-day training program on de-escalation and other tactics for limiting the use of force. This unique training program will incorporate two proven and respected training programs: ICAT—Integrated Communication and Tactics training developed by the Police Executive Research Forum, and ABLE—Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement developed by Georgetown University and others. All officers must complete the training no later than December 31, 2021;
  • Within 24 hours of using any physical force against a civilian, the law enforcement officer must report detailed information about the incident to the statewide Use of Force Portal, a new electronic reporting system implemented with Benchmark Analytics, part of the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy. A version of the portal will be accessible for public review in the first quarter of 2021;
  • Supervisory officers, including police chiefs, are now required to review all uses of force by their subordinate officers, both to determine whether a particular use of force was proper and to identify systemic issues that may require retraining or other remedial measures; and
  • Every New Jersey law enforcement agency – including the New Jersey State Police, the 21 County Sheriff’s Offices, and more than 500 local police departments – must conduct an annual analysis of use-of-force incidents to identify trends, including any racial disparities, and submit the analysis to the County Prosecutor for review.

The revised Use of Force Policy marks the culmination of a project that Attorney General Grewal announced in June 2020. Its development included dozens of community listening sessions across the state, including at least one in each county, and a review of over a thousand public comments. The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability (OPIA) oversaw the drafting process, in close consultation with law enforcement leaders, civil rights and religious organizations, and community stakeholders, many of whom provided statements of support for the final policy documents. (Statements of public support appear at the end of this release.)

“Today is another major step toward addressing the gap in trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve — drawing on the best practices of police departments across the nation and the urgent priorities of reform advocates to implement a uniform use of force policy for every officer in New Jersey,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I commend Attorney General Grewal for his leadership during this transformational moment by delivering this first of its kind policy to ensure law enforcement is held to the highest professional standards, particularly for Black and Brown communities who have suffered far too many incidents of improper and excessive force. Through this comprehensive policy, we are again putting New Jersey at the forefront of the national movement for justice.”

“We are committed to making New Jersey a national leader in policing reform, and today’s actions deliver on that promise,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are building on the important work already underway in the state’s best police departments and establishing a new standard of excellence across the Garden State. But today’s changes are about more than just reducing unnecessary use of force by law enforcement. We are also restoring the public’s trust in the work we do—which, in the long run, makes law enforcement more effective and everyone safer.”

“After hosting dozens of listening sessions and reviewing hundreds of public comments, we revised the Use of Force Policy to reflect the needs and concerns of the people we serve,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “But it’s not enough to simply issue a progressive new policy. We are committed to re-training every officer in the state and ensuring that they incorporate this model into their work.”

“The preeminent duty of a law enforcement officer is the preservation of life above all else, and that core principle is the foundation of this new policy. This initiative employs training that promotes mutual respect between police officers and the public, requires the use of deadly force only as a last resort, and was designed to hold New Jersey law enforcement to the highest professional standards in all aspects of policing,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Programs like the Excellence in Policing Initiative, which builds trust between the police and the community through partnership, accountability and transparency, are why New Jersey continues to have the most innovative and professional law enforcement community in the nation.”

Additional New Initiatives

Attorney General Grewal also took several other steps today to improve public and law enforcement safety. To help police better handle situations involving individuals in mental health crisis, he issued a statewide directive establishing a framework for county prosecutors to convene (or in some cases continue) working groups to address police interactions with special needs populations and those living with mental or behavioral health issues.  The County Working Groups will review policies, programs and protocols to maximize the effectiveness of each county’s response to those with disabilities or those in mental health crisis.

In addition, Attorney General Grewal imposed several restrictions on the use of police dogs, prohibiting their use against crowds or protesters, or against those who are resisting arrest but do not pose a threat to another person. Attorney General Grewal directed OPIA to work with law enforcement and other stakeholders to study whether any additional restrictions should be placed on the use of police dogs, and make recommendations no later than March 31, 2021.

Attorney General Grewal also announced today that the Attorney General’s Office will be hiring a first-ever Chief Data Officer to oversee the compilation, interpretation, and use of the extensive law enforcement data that is collected by the Department of Law & Public Safety. The Chief Data Officer will ensure that the state makes the best use of the various law enforcement data streams it collects to inform and assess its ongoing policing reform efforts and to ensure public transparency.

Strengthening Community Trust

Today’s actions mark the latest phase of Attorney General Grewal’s “Excellence in Policing” initiative, which he launched in December 2019 to promote the professionalism, accountability, and transparency that have always marked New Jersey’s best law enforcement agencies. As part of this effort, Attorney General Grewal has invoked his authority under the Criminal Justice Act of 1970 to issue “law enforcement directives” that are binding on all state, county, and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors in New Jersey.

The revised Use of Force Policy – formally implemented via Law Enforcement Directive No. 2020-13 – follows a number of other significant policies designed to make New Jersey a national leader in policing reform:


  • Improving oversight of, and greater transparency regarding, police department’s internal disciplinary units. (AG Directives 2020-72020-6, and 2020-5.)
  • Requiring independent investigations of officer-involved shootings and other serious use-of-force incidents. (AG Directive 2019-4.)
  • Developing a statewide police licensing program. (June 2020 Action.)


  • Mandating implicit bias training for all prosecutors, state and county detectives, and New Jersey State Troopers. (June 2018 Action.)
  • Establishing a first-in-the-nation statewide “officer resiliency” program to help officers better cope with psychological stressors. (AG Directive 2019-1.)
  • Development of “early warning systems” to identity and counsel at-risk officers before their behavior escalates. (AG Directive 2018-3.)
  • Improving interactions between law enforcement and historically marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals (AG Directive 2019-3), immigrants (2018-6), sexual assault victims (2018-5), and at-risk juveniles (2020-12).


  • Mandating the prompt release of body-worn camera footage following serious use-of-force incidents. (AG Directives 2019-4 and 2018-1.)
  • Ensuring the prompt disclosure of exculpatory and impeachment evidence. (AG Directive 2019-6.)
  • Launching a statewide conviction review unit. (April 2019 Action.)
  • Hosting quarterly community listening sessions in all 21 New Jersey counties. (April 2018 Action.)

Statements of Support for Revised Use of Force Policy

Louis Bordi, President, New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP); Chief of Police, Voorhees Police Department:

“New Jersey’s Police Chiefs are proud to work alongside our law enforcement colleagues and the Attorney General in the ongoing work of moving policing forward and keeping our state at the forefront of continuous improvement.”

Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Founder, Salvation and Social Justice:

“Salvation and Social Justice is pleased that the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is moving in the right direction with this Use of Force Policy revision. The revision better articulates the standards of force with new provisions regarding imminent danger, the use of Tasers, and officer pursuits of civilians. These policy improvements create a greater level of transparency and increase officer accountability.

“Our mission is to foster a community where people are not marginalized and policed on account of their race, gender, or socioeconomic status. This is the moral duty of New Jersey’s criminal justice system. We look forward to continuing this Use of Force Policy dialogue with the Attorney General’s Office, community partners, and constituents. There is still much work to be done; we are focused on making further progress in terms of police accountability, use of force standards, improved officer training, and elimination of asphyxiation techniques. This continued collaboration will promote justice and equity across the State of New Jersey.”

Zulma Cabrera, President, Hispanic American Law Enforcement Association:

“I provided my support to the Attorney General’s Office Use of Force Policy working group. It has been an amazing experience to be able to come together with all the agencies involved to complete a policy that will address and ensure everyone’s safety. The working group has committed many hours to this important effort in order to provide the public and all law enforcement departments with the tools to assure all situations are handled safely and properly. I commend the Attorney General’s Office for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of this process.”

Patrick Colligan, President, New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association:

“The revised Use of Force policy is another important tool in enhancing the professionalism and integrity of New Jersey’s law enforcement profession. This policy makes key changes that will protect our officers on the job while ensuring the public that New Jersey police remain the best trained in the nation. This policy developed after weeks of collaborative discussions amongst the State PBA and other stakeholders and we are grateful to the Attorney General’s Office for incorporating our suggestions.”

James M. Gannon, President, Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey; Morris County Sheriff:

“New Jersey law enforcement has a long history of working to better serve the citizenry by regularly improving operations and procedures. My colleagues in the Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey (SANJ) and our partners in the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) continue to impress me with their eagerness to find better ways to do a difficult job. That is why it was our honor to participate in the review of the Use of Force Guidelines with the Office of the Attorney General and to explore again how we may best serve the public.

“In the words of leadership expert Jim Collins, ‘Good is the Enemy of Great.’ There is always room for improvement. However, my counterpart in NJSACOP, Chief Lou Bordi and I agreed from the start that no group of law enforcement professionals is more vigilant about performing their sworn duties in the best way possible than the men and women in uniform serving the citizens of New Jersey. While outside scrutiny of any culture of service is always necessary, this review only left Lou and I even more impressed with our fellow officers because, once again, they have admirably demonstrated a willingness to accept greater discipline, despite these uncertain and difficult times, for their very difficult vocation.

“Law Enforcement is a dangerous profession. According to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, line of duty deaths are already up 56 percent this year— 198 officers killed so far in 2020 compared to 127 for all of last year. My fervent hope is that the great people of the State of New Jersey once again begin to consciously and openly express their appreciation for the job these guardians perform on a daily basis. The Officers need and deserve your support, and your respect!

“Please visit and and you will see the thread of professionalism and accountability throughout our organizations. It is central to both Chief Bordi’s, and my own, stated missions!”

  Commissioner Carole Johnson, New Jersey Department of Human Services:

“By prioritizing the importance of law enforcement de-escalation techniques, increasing the emphasis on listening and explaining, and expanding law enforcement knowledge about mental health and disabilities, the Attorney General is taking actions that will better protect individuals in New Jersey with mental health conditions and disabilities, who are often particularly vulnerable in law enforcement interactions. We look forward to working collaboratively with law enforcement, community leaders, individuals with lived experience and their families and guardians, to create a safer and more just New Jersey for all.”

    Christy Lopez, Professor from Practice and Faculty Co-Director, Innovative Policing Program, Georgetown University Law Center:

“There has been a lot of talk about police reform over the last six months. With Attorney General Grewal’s  comprehensive, statewide changes to police use of force, New Jersey provides a roadmap for turning words into actions that can prevent policing harm and transform police culture. Importantly, the changes today go far beyond simply revising policy. New Jersey is increasing data collection and reporting and ensuring that officers will be trained in how to avoid unnecessary force and how to intervene to prevent other officers from committing misconduct. Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program is happy to support this work through its ABLE Project active bystandership training.” 

Jiles H. Ship, President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) New Jersey; Past National President, NOBLE

“The public outrage after the senseless killing of George Floyd fueled the national demand for review of excessive force policies in law enforcement. We acknowledge the importance of this first step and NOBLE NJ looks forward to continuing our work with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General to develop a comprehensive policy that will ensure the safety of all New Jerseyans and law enforcement officers.”

Amol Sinha, Executive Director, ACLU-NJ:

“The Attorney General’s use-of-force directive incorporates measures that have extraordinary potential to protect people’s rights and safety, and it creates important accountability requirements for law enforcement— with the understanding that even the strongest use-of-force policies are only as effective as their implementation and enforcement.

“At the core of the directive is an emphasis that law enforcement’s role is to treat all people they encounter with respect and dignity, value the sanctity of life, and work to deescalate difficult situations. This framework, if implemented effectively, could serve to avoid tragic outcomes and protect fundamental rights, particularly in Black and brown communities which often are the subject of over-policing. We look forward to working with the Office of the Attorney General, stakeholders, and advocates to inform further reforms and to help New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies fulfill the directive, both in letter and spirit.”

Richard T. Smith, President, NAACP New Jersey State Conference:

“Establishing a rigorous statewide policy focused on reducing use of force is an important step forward to achieving police accountability. We support the guiding principle that officers must make every effort to preserve and protect human life and the safety of all persons and never deploy force in a discriminatory manner.  We appreciate being included in discussions during the revision process and look forward to future engagement as the new policy with accompanying training rolls out. While we recognize that more work must be done to improve police-community trust, we applaud Attorney General Grewal’s leadership and commitment.”   

Esther Suarez, President, County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey; Hudson County Prosecutor:

“This first-of-its-kind policy rightly emphasizes expanding the use of de-escalation as the primary tool for officers and that use of force should always be a last resort and only deployed once clear verbal warning and an opportunity to comply have been made. Among the many important measures announced today, we find the specific attention to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and offering training and tools to officers incredibly important. Additionally, creating a first-in-the-nation public portal that documents every use of force by law enforcement is a transformative and important step toward transparency and trust building between law enforcement and the public.”

Joseph D. Wysocki, Police Chief, Camden County Police Department:

“The Camden County Police Department seeks to establish policy and practices that are progressive in nature and representative of a contemporary policing culture. We fully support the implementation of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Use of Force Policy, which promotes and codifies modern-day law enforcement ethos and ideals, anchored in the sanctity of human life.”  


Related Content

What are the core principles in the Use of Force Policy?

What will New Jersey’s multi-day law enforcement training entail?

What is the Use of Force Portal?

What information does law enforcement enter into the Use of Force Portal?

What comments did we receive from the public?

Who partnered in this initiative?

Over 80 Boxes of Toys Collected During This Years Toys for Tots Drive in Hamilton

December 21, 2020

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON (MERCER): Hamilton Police Chief James M. Stevens and Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin are happy to report that over 80 boxes of toys have been collected during this years Toys for Tots Drive.

The toys were picked up today by the US Marine Corps, where they will be redistributed to local charity organizations and into the hands of children in need.

Toys for Tots started back in 1947, when a US Marine Corp Forces Reserve, by the name of Major Bill Hendricks founded the program. In 1948, the US Marine Corps adopted the program as their own.

Last year alone, the USMC Toys for Tots program was able to collect and distribute 19 million toys to 73 million children in over 800 communities in the United States, including the District of Columbia, Puerto RIco, and the Virgin Islands.

“The Toys for Tots program has been in existence since 1947. As the Chief of Police, the Hamilton Township Police Division’s Toys for Tots drive is one of the highlights of my year,” said Police Chief Stevens. “These toys truly make a difference in the lives of so many, from the joy they bring not only the children who recieve them, but their parents and loved ones. And for that, I am thankful to the United States Marines and the residents of Hamilton Township who helped to make it all possible,” Chief Stevens continued.

None of this would have been possible without the Hamilton Police Division’s Community Policing Unit, Foley’s Family Market, Route 33 Shoprite, Hamilton Car Wash, Family Fun Hobbies, Brothers Pizza on Route 33, Killarney’s Publick House, Teamsters Local 177, Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters, Dollar Tree, and most importantly, all those who donated gifts.

Chief Stevens and Mayor Martin wish to thank the community for all the generosity during this year’s drive.

Hamilton Township Welcomes Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

Liberty Street Early Head Start Center

December 21, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township is proud to welcome The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey’s new Early Head Start center to their Liberty Street location.

Earlier this year, The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (CHSofNJ) was awarded a federal grant to expand its Early Head Start center-based program. Under this grant, the agency has purchased and begun accepting construction bids to renovate 1435 Liberty Street. The building, which previously housed an adult day center, will undergo extensive renovations to now deliver care and education for 80 infants, toddlers, and their families. The center, located on the border of Hamilton and Trenton, will also provide office space for the program’s home visitors, who will serve an additional 147 infants, toddlers, and pregnant women.

The reconfigured space will include ten state-of-the-art classrooms – five infant classrooms and five toddler classrooms; ample indoor play space and an outdoor playground; office space for staff and the program nurse; conference rooms and community meeting space; a laundry room; and a commercial-grade kitchen to prepare daily meals and snacks as well as nutritious food for socialization events for all 541 infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pregnant moms enrolled in CHSofNJ’s Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) programs, including those served at the agency’s existing four sites in Trenton (715 Bellevue Avenue; 1198 Southard Street; 794 East State Street, and 1746 South Clinton Avenue).

Zoning Board approval was received in November 2020, and construction is expected to begin in late December 2020/early January 2021. Construction is anticipated to be completed in July 2021, and the facility will be operational in time for the 2021/2022 school year. This project will create an estimated 50 local construction jobs and ongoing employment for 40 early childhood and support staff.

“We are grateful that The Children’s Home Society of NJ decided to make Hamilton the home for their Early Head Start Center,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “The services provided by Head Start programs are critical for low-income families and children in the most impactful time of their lives and have proven to have immediate and lasting effects across multiple generations. Under the leadership of Mr. Isaac Dorsey, the Hamilton center is sure to help our community thrive under the Head Start model for many years to come.”

The Head Start/Early Head Start program embraces the comprehensive services model to promote school readiness in children from low-income families. The program supports children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, including: evidence-based early childhood education; health, mental health, and disabilities services; family support services, including help with education/training and employment, and parent engagement in their children’s education; and more. Children enrolled in Early Head Start will transition into CHSofNJ’s Head Start program. As a result of the EHS and HS options, CHSofNJ is able to provide families with education and support from pregnancy through age 5.

“The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey Early Head Start program is proud to provide these important early childhood education services in Trenton, and we are thrilled to now expand our reach to serve families in Hamilton as well,” stated Isaac Dorsey, Executive Director, CHSofNJ Head Start/Early Head Start. “From our conversations with Hamilton’s Mayor, Jeff Martin, it is clear that he shares our vision and goal to strengthen and support families in our community to achieve their full potential. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Cities of Trenton and Hamilton in our mission of saving children’s lives and building healthy families.”

More information on The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey Early Head Start program can be found on their website at

TWW to Seek City Council Approval for State Funding to Remove More Lead Services From Its Water System

December 21, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Water Works, the city-owned public water system that serves nearly a quarter-million consumers in five municipalities in Mercer County, will seek City Council approval on December 22 to accept $15 million in funding from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank). The funding will be used for Phase 3 of its six-year Lead Service Line Replacement Program (LSLRP), Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today.

If approved, Phase 3 of the LSLRP will remove 1,850 more lead services (short for lead service lines) from TWW’s 683-mile water distribution system and private homes in its service area, except for Hopewell Township, which has newer infrastructure. Fifty percent of the funding, $7.5 million, is a grant from I-Bank, an independent state financing authority that issues revenue bonds to make loans to finance the construction of eligible environmental and transportation infrastructure projects.

In the $25 million Phase 1 of the LSLRP, TWW personnel and two vendors operating under publicly awarded contracts with TWW—South State, Inc. and Spiniello Companies—have removed 2,620 lead services in Hamilton Township and Trenton. Phase 1 is on track to remove a total of 3,850 lead services by April 2021. 

The $25 million Phase 2, which begins in April 2021, will remove 3,500 lead services by March 2022.

Phase 3 starts in June 2021, with plans to remove 1,850 lead services by May 2022. Also, TWW will utilize personnel from its construction and maintenance operations to remove 900 lead services, bringing the combined total number of lead services removed from TWW’s water-distribution system to 10,000. The LSLRP is a critical capital project that is a part of TWW’s six-year, $405-million capital plan announced in 2020.

“When I took office in July 2018, I pledged to apply the leadership and resources necessary to modernize Trenton Water Works, which has nearly 63,000 customers, and to prioritize this policy goal,” said Mayor Gusciora. “TWW has made substantial progress in regulatory and administrative consent order compliance, developing and executing a $405-million capital plan, implementing corrosion control, removing lead services in the TWW system and at private homes, improving customer service, and strengthening its workforce. Much work remains, particularly addressing lead, and we are determined to remove all lead services from the TWW system within five-to-six years.”

Mayor Gusciora added: “I am asking Trenton city residents to phone your councilperson to request support for this additional round of funding for the Lead Service Line Replacement Program. The removal of lead pipes from the TWW system is contingent on available funding and a nexus of cooperation from state and local leaders, including our City Council. The removal of lead infrastructure from our water system is integral to maintaining high water quality and public health and wellness for many years to come.”

According to TWW’s inventory, there are 17,463 lead services in Trenton, 11,618 in Hamilton Township, 5,236 in Ewing Township, and 2,383 in Lawrence Township. Hopewell Township has no lead services because its infrastructure is newer. TWW regularly revises its overall inventory as it assesses pipe materials at private homes, using internal survey teams, LSLRP contractors, and information from homeowners. Service-line pipe material made of galvanized steel is considered a lead service.

Homeowners who have verified that their pipe material is galvanized steel can still sign up for a future phase of the LSLRP at Residents can also refer their questions about the program to a hotline – (609) 989-3600 – and will receive a return call from a TWW community-relations team member within 24 hours.

Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works (TWW) is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States, supplying 28 million gallons of water per day to approximately a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area in Mercer County, NJ: Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township. TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW has approximately 63,000 metered customers.

Robbinsville Preserves More Land As Open Space

December 21, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At the direction of Mayor Dave Fried, Robbinsville Township added to its robust open space inventory on December 10 when it acquired the .665 acres behind Chase Bank at 2340 Route 33 – also known as Block 3.41, Lot 7.02 on the Robbinsville Tax Map. The purchase in the amount of $750,000, paid for by the Open Space Tax Trust Fund – pushed the total amount of preserved land to over 1,200 acres since Fried became mayor in 2005.”This was the last available parcel on the north side of Town Center, and we wanted an open space where kids could play and not worry about more residential housing going up,” said Mayor Fried, who noted the maximum proposed apartment units for the property was 15 had development occurred. “We were already concerned about parking in that area and did not want to add to those worries. We’re very proud of our open space record.”With this acquisition, Robbinsville has now preserved over 390 acres, including “Washington Woods” and the former Miry Run Golf Club, since 2017.

RWJ University Hospital Hamilton Administers First COVID-19 Vaccinations This Morning To Healthcare Workers

December 21, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin and Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried were at RWJ Hamilton Hospital early this morning to witness the first COVID-19 vaccinations given to healthcare employees.

When employees of the hospital are able to receive the vaccine, they are sent to a registration table and computer to complete forms and other paperwork before vaccination. The vaccine is prepared at another location in the hospital and then relocated to two vaccination stations where it is administered. From there the employees need to wait in a waiting area for at least 15 minutes to make sure there are no adverse reactions. In the waiting area, there is medicine and other things to treat anaphylactic shock. Once the required waiting period is over, the employee can go about their day. At a future date, the employees will receive the second dose of the same vaccine to complete the process.

First to be vaccinated were: Victoria Bradeis, RWJUH Hamilton Respiratory Therapy from Langhorne, PA and Meghan Rolston, RWJUH Hamilton ICU Nurse from Lawerenceville, NJ.

“Based off of my experience, seeing the destruction and devastation of the virus I think people should be afraid of getting COVID not the vaccine,” said Victoria Bradeis, a RWJ Respiratory Therapist.

Meghan Rolston a RWJ Hamilton ICU Nurse said, “I believe in the science behind the vaccine and will be forever grateful for all the companies who made an effort to end this horrendous pandemic. There is now hope in the face of the incessantly traumatic uncertainty that has monopolized our lives for nearly a year. Although we are far from the end, there is a speck of light at the end of this long tunnel and we are able to exhale a little bit for now.”

“This is a monumental day, not just for RWJ-Hamilton and its great team healthcare professionals, but for all of us,” Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried said. “This is the light guiding us to the tunnel that will hopefully take us out of this pandemic. We still must remain vigilant until everyone has access to these vaccines, but we are so appreciative to all the scientists and researchers across the world that have made this historic vaccination rollout possible.”

Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin said, “Today is the first step in our local fight against the virus. We are forever indebted to RWJ Hamilton and their team of Nurses, Doctors and Staff who have been on the frontline of this fight since the Spring. It is only fitting they get the first doses. We still have a long way to go so be sure to still wear a mask, keep a safe distance and wash your hands regularly”

RWJ University Hospital Hamilton Press Release:

Following weeks of preparation, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to its high-risk, frontline employees today.  The hospital opened its employee vaccine clinic at 7 am and employees were welcomed with cheers of support from the administrative team and hospital staff.

“Based off of my experience, seeing the destruction and devastation of the virus, I think people should be afraid of getting COVID, not the vaccine,” says Victoria Bradeis, a respiratory therapist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton. Bradeis was one of the first hospital team members to receive the first dose of the vaccine.

RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) has been working diligently with the state to support the New Jersey Department of Health’s ambitious vaccination plan to get 70 percent of the state’s adult population vaccinated in six months. As the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Heath is committed to treating and saving the lives of patients with COVID-19, and also to fighting the spread of the disease, protecting its team members and ending the pandemic. With the opening of its employee vaccine clinic today, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton is proud to be an integral part of the national and New Jersey COVID-19 vaccination effort. Public health officials and medical experts believe vaccination is an important step in helping to prevent or lessen the effect of COVID-19 and its potentially devastating consequences.

Receiving the vaccine is important to many of the hospital’s staff. “Our team has worked so hard through this pandemic and they continue to provide the best care to all of our patients. This vaccine brings them a new measure of protection for themselves, their loved ones and our patients,” says Richard Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton.

In support of the hospital staff, Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said, “This is a monumental day, not just for RWJUH Hamilton and its great team healthcare professionals, but for all of us. This is the light guiding us to the tunnel that will hopefully take us out of this pandemic. We still must remain vigilant until everyone has access to these vaccines, but we are so appreciative to all the scientists and researchers across the world that have made this historic vaccination rollout possible.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 11, 2020. Vaccine safety and efficacy for Pfizer’s vaccine has been issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. FDA authorization of a vaccine means the agency has determined, based on substantial evidence and a stringent review process, that the vaccine is safe and effective for its intended use. The vaccine has been shown to be 95 percent effective and requires two doses received 21 days apart. The vaccine is voluntary for employees and medical staff and is being offered free of charge.

Due to limited supply, the vaccine is being given in phases based on prioritization order. The prioritization order for RWJBarnabas Health staff is determined by the risk of contracting COVID-19 from exposures while at work, primarily by job setting. RWJBarnabas Health facilities expect to vaccinate staff over a 6-week period (weeks 1-3 first dose; weeks 4-6 second dose).

About Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Hamilton

Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, serves communities within a five-county area and includes an acute care hospital, cancer center, affiliated medical group, Lakeview Child Centers and the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center. RWJBarnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. For more information, visit us at