WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Emergency Services and Princeton Junction Fire Department responded to 3490 Route 1 North, Building 19 for a carbon monoxide alarm around 6:15 pm. Upon arrival firefighters using their meters reported that they were getting readings of 50,000 parts per million of carbon monoxide and a very high reading on a combustible gas meter. The building was evacuated and the West Windsor Services Hazardous Materials Team was called to the scene. The building was vented by opening doors and windows and circulating fresh air using positive pressure fans. The hazardous materials team cleaned up a spilled flammable liquid and placed in a salvage drum. There was no information available to the name of the liquid spilled. The incident was completed by 10:10 pm. No other information is available. Information is from witnesses, and on scene reporting if official information is released the story will be updated.
City Bringing 1,000 Vaccines Directly to Residents with Health, Transportation Challenges Starting April 12
April 9, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services is starting a homebound vaccination program this Monday, April 12, 2021 that will bring 1,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines to Trenton residents who are unable to get to a vaccine clinic on their own.
In-home vaccinations will be provided to individuals – age 18 or over – who are immobile due to underlying medical conditions or transportation limitations. Homebound residents or their relatives can call (609) 815-2556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an in-home vaccine appointment.
All in-home vaccinations will be administered by qualified medical professionals who will use the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which is easier to transport and requires only one appointment. City medical staff will wait 15 to 30 minutes with each patient after administering the vaccine to monitor for side effects.
The city already has a list of 400 individuals for the program and is scheduled to visit multiple senior and high-density housing locations over the next few weeks including South Village, Luther Arms, Kingsbury Towers, Trent Center East, Trent Center West, North 25, and numerous residential properties throughout Trenton.
This effort was made possible due to ongoing support from the Trenton Health Team, the Henry J. Austin Medical Center, the Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton Housing Authority, Mercer County Meals on Wheels and the Trenton Council of Civic Associations.
“As we navigate our way out of this pandemic, the last thing we want is for our most vulnerable populations to fall behind,” said Mayor Gusciora. “If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you. We won’t emerge from this crisis unless all of our residents have equal access to the vaccine, and we won’t rest until that goal is realized.”
This is one of many efforts taking place in Trenton to ensure that minority communities or individuals who face certain economic and health conditions do not fall behind in the state vaccine rollout. Just last week, Trenton finished a joint federal, state, and city vaccine clinic that brought 3,000 vaccines to Trenton’s religious congregations. The success of those efforts in Trenton resulted in the state allocating an additional 2,000 vaccines to the City that were also administered last week.
“We’ve shown time and time again that this City will use every resource at its disposal to get the job done,” said Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, Director of Health and Human Services. “Every vaccine we’ve received has been used, and our efficiency at every vaccine clinic has helped us build a supportive network of state, federal, health care, and community partners who came together to provide this critical service to our most vulnerable residents.”
The City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services has directly administered a total of 11,800 vaccines, which does not include thousands of other Trentonians that have been vaccinated by Mercer County, Henry J. Austin, area pharmacies, and other entities.
Trenton has had a total of 6,700 COVID-19 cases and 87 related deaths to date.
AG’s Office is administering $58 million grant program for police departments to purchase body worn cameras, which must be worn by all uniformed patrol officers by June 1
April 9, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today released the final report of the Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras, which the Governor created by Executive Order 201 to provide advice and recommendations regarding technology solutions to assist with the deployment of body worn cameras by all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey.
On Nov. 24, 2020, Governor Murphy signed historic legislation, P.L. 2020, Chapter 128, requiring that by June 1 every uniformed patrol officer in New Jersey wear a body worn camera (“BWC”) while on duty. Previously, fewer than half of the law enforcement agencies in the state had BWCs. In January, the Governor signed another law appropriating $58 million for grants-in-aid to support the statewide body worn camera program. The Attorney General’s Office is currently administering a grant program to distribute those funds to eligible police departments on a reimbursement basis.
The price tag to fully equip a police department to use body worn cameras goes beyond the cost of the devices itself, and includes storage, licensing, and maintenance fees. The 14-member Interagency Working Group – which included representatives of state agencies, law enforcement, and the legal and social justice communities – focused its efforts on finding ways to reduce the initial cost of implementing body worn cameras. It issued three recommendations about potential cost-saving methods, and a fourth policy-based recommendation calling for the Attorney General to issue guidance to expand the types of officers who must wear BWCs beyond the law’s mandate.
“We welcome the recommendations of the working group, which focus on ways for government and police to work together to save money in purchasing body worn cameras and the related technology needed to operate them,” said Governor Murphy. “Because of their power to promote transparency and accountability, body worn cameras are a vital tool for building trust between our police officers and the diverse communities they serve— a trust shaken by the racial injustices we have witnessed across the United States. New Jersey proudly leads the nation when it comes to policing reforms designed to serve fairness, justice, and the safety of residents and officers alike.”
Attorney General Grewal will review the Working Group’s recommendations and engage with community stakeholders as he considers revisions to the existing AG Directive governing BWCs. Although another new law will regulate use of BWCs beginning in June, it is generally consistent with the more comprehensive AG Directive, which will remain in effect and be updated as needed.
“We will carefully review these recommendations as we work to support police departments in the statewide deployment of these important devices,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Body worn cameras have the support of police as well as the public, because the accountability they provide is mutual— everyone behaves better when they know they are on camera. Body cameras not only promote safer and more professional law enforcement interactions, they assist police in gathering evidence and serve to reduce unfounded complaints against officers. Officers report that body-worn cameras can even help to de-escalate volatile situations.”
The Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras made the following recommendations, as set forth more fully in their Final Report:
The Working Group recommended against a single statewide storage system for BWC footage, stating that for the short and medium term, creation of such a system would be time and cost prohibitive. They noted that there may be technological advances in the future to make such a system more tenable.
The Working Group recommended that the New Jersey Department of the Treasury aggressively negotiate with the five state-approved BWC vendors for an increased volume discount based on statewide purchasing for both BWCs and the storage to hold BWC footage, specifically focusing on cloud-based storage solutions.
The Working Group recommended that law enforcement agencies seek to purchase, through the State’s contract for BWCs, cloud-based storage, as opposed to on-premises storage options, provided appropriate privacy and security systems are in place.
The Working Group recommended that the Attorney General issue guidance expanding the types of officers who will be required to use body worn cameras beyond the uniformed patrol officers mandated in P.L. 2020, Chapter 128 to include additional officers who are members of tactical teams, commonly known as SWAT or emergency response teams, or members of proactive enforcement teams, sometimes known as “crime suppression units.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:45 am, police responded to reports of a person brandishing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, near Cavell Street. There were reports of the person fleeing in a car towards the Donnelley Homes and the possible suspect vehicle was found near Southard and New Willow Street. This is still an active investigation.
This is breaking news, from on scene and witness reports, once official information is received from TPD the story will be updated and any corrections made.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer recently introduced a bill requiring the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to create and issue electronic driver’s licenses and identification cards to individuals who voluntarily request one.
The bill (A5433) follows up on recommendations from the MVC’s 2016 Mobile Driver’s License Feasibility Study that found the technology exists to create a digital license, and nearly 70 percent of New Jerseyans would be willing to pay for an official ID they could access on their smartphones.
“Convenience is a driving factor for many motorists who want to access their driver’s license in their digital wallet. Residents are now able to keep proof of car insurance, health insurance ID cards, airplane boarding passes and so much more in their cell phones. It’s time to make driver’s licenses available in a similar smartphone format,” said Dancer (R-Ocean).
More than a dozen states, including Delaware, Virginia, and Florida, have pilot programs or are working to offer electronic driver’s licenses. The demand has grown globally as well, with Canadian provinces, Britain, and India embracing the mobile phone ID.
“Mobile driver’s licenses can be a secure and suitable alternative to traditional IDs for modern motorists,” said Dancer. “Most likely, we have at one time or another, forgot our wallet and drove without a driver’s license, but seldom today do we ever leave the house without our smartphone. Additionally, this innovation could cut down on in-person agency visits, something that will appeal to a great many New Jersey drivers.”
The MVC annually conducts about 1.8 million driver’s license and ID card transactions each year. Under the bill, a driver with a digital license or ID card could update a personal motor vehicle record electronically and the changes would override the information on a hard-copy license or ID.
The bill has been referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.
Legislation is Part of a $100 Million Relief Package for New Jersey Small Businesses
April 9, 2021
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law A-5444, which provides $35 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for restaurants throughout New Jersey. The bill – sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Joseph Lagana and Assembly Members Vincent Mazzeo, Pedro Mejia, Christopher Tully, and Louis Greenwald – provides aid to a particularly hard hit sector of New Jersey’s economy. The bill is part of a five-bill, $100 million relief effort aimed at helping New Jersey’s small businesses recover from the year-long pandemic.
“For the past year, our restaurants have fought the good fight, and we know that fight has not been easy,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation will provide a much-needed lifeline to small business owners, who, through no fault of their own, have been devastated by this pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented health and economic tragedy for everyone, but it is hard to think of a sector that has been hit harder than restaurants. Restaurant owners and their employees have faced previously unimaginable challenges with a tenacity and grit that has been inspiring for everyone, but they cannot overcome COVID-19 alone,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “There is now a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a long way to go to get there. The $35 million in new grant funding Governor Murphy has signed into law today will provide vital support these businesses need to bridge the gap and continue reopening safely.”
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were more than 19,000 food and beverage establishments throughout New Jersey, with restaurants employing nearly 8 percent of the workers in our state,” said Assembly Members Mazzeo, Tully, Mejia and Greenwald. “The public health emergency has taken a significant toll on this industry, which so many of us benefit from and enjoy. We must provide support to these establishments to help them get through this crisis and allow them to employ New Jerseyans while continuing to serve residents and visitors alike for years to come.”
“With capacity limitations affecting bars and restaurants, the food and drink industry has been struggling since the start of the pandemic,” said Senator Gopal. “Many of these smaller restaurants and bars have been fraught with the potential of closing down permanently, which would not only have an effect on the local economies, but the job status of many workers within this industry. This funding will help ensure that these establishments can keep their doors open and help restore the jobs that have been lost due to the pandemic.”
“Mom and pop restaurants and bars have always been keystones in our communities, creating multigenerational traditions and shaping neighborhoods. Sadly, many of these institutions have been forced to close or suffered greatly over the last year,” said Senator Lagana. “With this grant funding, we are giving beloved small businesses an opportunity to get through the hard times, hire workers and remain an integral part of their community.”
The relief aid will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. To date, the NJEDA has distributed more than $250 million in aid to some 55,000 businesses across the state.
The signing was held at Bourré, an industrial-themed New Orleans pub in Atlantic City.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are excited to announce that they will host the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
“After 27 years serving as the Double-A home of the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, we are excited to welcome the highest level of Minor League Baseball to New Jersey,” said Jeff Hurley, GM & COO, Trenton Thunder. “We look forward to working with the Bisons, Blue Jays, and Major League Baseball to make this a successful season start.”
“Mercer County and everyone at the Thunder are proud to welcome the Buffalo Bisons to one of the top ballparks in America,” said Joe Plumeri, Owner, Trenton Thunder. “Our family of fans will be able to root for future Blue Jays big leaguers against the top prospects from the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Nationals, while enjoying the beautiful setting along the banks of the Delaware. GO THUNDER!”
Mercer County has made this a top-rated facility year after year, so it was a welcome home for the Bisons to start the season. “This is terrific news for Mercer County, our Capital City and baseball fans throughout the region who are eager to root for the Thunder again this season,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “The county’s investments in the stadium in conjunction with Thunder management have ensured that it remains a first-rate facility for players and fans alike, and we look forward to another exciting summer at the ballpark.”
Over the years, Mercer County has continued to make improvements around the ballpark to keep up with Major League standards. Some larger projects include updating ballpark lighting, new stadium seats, new infield grass, and new wall pads along the lower level of the outfield wall to ensure player safety.
The Thunder are proud to support Triple-A baseball this season as well as the MLB Draft League. Additional details will be announced shortly as they look to continue this multi-faceted partnership with Major League Baseball.