TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Water Works, the public water system that serves approximately 250,000 consumers in a five-municipality service area in Mercer County, today issued its 2020 Water Quality Report.
“The report provides an informative summary of our drinking water quality,” said Michael Walker, TWW’s Chief of Communications and Community Relations. “Consumers can also read about TWW’s work to reduce exposure to lead, our success in eliminating disinfection byproducts, active capital projects, and how our public water system operates.”
The 2020 Water Quality Report was mailed to TWW’s 63,000 customers, published online, and distributed to other parts of the water utility’s service area, as is required by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The report can be downloaded from TWW’s website at www.trentonwaterworks.org/ccr. Service-area residents can request a mailed report by phoning the Office of Communications and Community Relations at (609) 989-3033.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today that the State has filed a lawsuit against the City of Trenton and Trenton Water Works seeking to compel them to take legally required actions to protect and strengthen the City’s water system, including actions necessary to reduce the risk of lead and pathogens in drinking water.
Trenton Water Works (TWW) supplies approximately 29 million gallons of drinking water daily to more than 200,000 people, including residents of Trenton and four neighboring municipalities – Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence Townships.
DEP and the City have, over the past decade, executed multiple Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) in which Trenton agreed to cure its many failures to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Among other things, TWW agreed to replace thousands of lead service lines and cover a finished water reservoir, actions that are necessary for TWW to comply with state and federal law and effectively minimize public health risks. However, due in part to the inaction of Trenton’s City Council, TWW has missed many critical deadlines, has not met its obligations to replace a significant portion of lead service lines, has failed to protect its open, 78-million-gallon reservoir of treated water from contamination and reduce the risk of pathogens in the water supply, and has failed to satisfy a series of other operations and maintenance obligations. Underlying this lawsuit is the Trenton City Council’s May 7, 2020 rejection of TWW’s request for millions of dollars to meet these clear legal obligations.
“After years of mismanagement, and after the Trenton City Council recently failed to take necessary steps to address the serious shortcomings in the City’s water system, the State was left with no choice but to file this suit,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our lawsuit demands that TWW meet its obligations to reduce the risk of lead exposure by replacing lead service lines, and to comply with a range of other environmental laws that go directly to the health of the public and especially of Trenton’s children. New Jersey’s public water systems must be held to the highest standards and must live up to their environmental and public health obligations.”
“DEP’s singular goal is to ensure safe and reliable drinking water for the people served by Trenton Water Works,” said Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “DEP recognizes that Mayor Gusciora has made progress in improving TWW and protecting public health, and recently proposed plans that would enable the system to meet its Safe Drinking Water Act obligations. Unfortunately, in light of the Trenton City Council’s recent refusal to adequately fund drinking water system improvements, it has become all the more clear that TWW will not meet its obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and DEP’s orders. DEP has been left no choice but to take legal action, and we have confidence that Attorney General Grewal and his team will help us bring swift relief to the people of Trenton and the communities who rely on TWW for their drinking water.”
Lead Service Lines Issue
As the Complaint explains, lead can occur in drinking water when lead service lines within water distribution systems and household plumbing corrode.
Wherever the lead levels exceed 15 parts per billion for a sufficient number of samples from a single water system — as revealed through tap water sampling — that system has experienced an “Action Level Exceedance” and federal law requires water systems to implement techniques to minimize the risk and to replace a percentage of its lead service lines.
According to today’s lawsuit, the City experienced lead-related Action Level Exceedance events during three monitoring periods in 2017 and 2018. TWW was required to replace seven percent of its lead service lines within a year of its first Action Level Exceedance. TWW did not meet that first deadline, and subsequently entered into an ACO with the DEP in July 2018.
Under that ACO, the TWW committed to replace seven percent of its lead lines – over 2,500 lines in all – by December 31, 2019. The City missed that deadline, and will miss an upcoming deadline in July to replace an additional seven percent of its lead lines, totaling 14%. To date, it has replaced only 828 of its lines, or roughly two percent.
As a result of the City’s failure to meet its agreed-upon obligation to replace many aged and corroding lead service lines, today’s lawsuit argues, DEP has been forced to seek court intervention.
The lawsuit asserts that legal action seeking a court order is required because the defendants have not taken all necessary steps to “mitigate the risk of potential lead contamination in drinking water.” The lawsuit also seeks immediate relief from the Court.
Remaining Environmental Issues
In addition to demanding that TWW replace sufficient lead service lines, the lawsuit addresses TWW’s failures to reduce the risk of contamination in its reservoir, as well as TWW’s inability to comply with other maintenance and operational requirements.
TWW maintains a seven-acre reserve reservoir, which contains millions of gallons of usable, treated water, and provides drinking water to consumers when the system is unable to meet demands. Because that reservoir is uncovered, it is subject to contamination from the elements and from birds or other animals, which poses a continuing risk of introducing pathogens into the water supply.
According to the Complaint filed today, DEP ordered installation of a floating cover to protect the reservoir from contamination more than a decade ago, and it ordered TWW to complete the cover project by 2009. The lawsuit notes that the City did not comply with DEP’s order, and that it missed two extended deadlines in the process.
As a result, in 2018, the City and DEP agreed to an ACO extending the deadline for cover installation until 2023 – with an added requirement that Trenton fulfill a number of interim milestones in 2018 and 2019 to ensure installation of the cover by the agreed-upon deadline.
According to today’s complaint, the City has not completed those steps in a timely manner, and now indicates it wishes to abandon the cover project in lieu of an alternative approach – a series of above ground storage tanks to prevent the contamination of its reserve water supply. To date, Trenton has not formally requested DEP approval of the storage tank project, which is projected to cost tens of millions of dollars. Nor has it provided a schedule for completion, or an indication of how it intends to fund the project.
At the same time, the ACO to which the City and DEP entered also required TWW to meet a series of operations and maintenance requirements, which it has repeatedly failed to do.
Most concerning, just last month, the Trenton City Council rejected TWW’s request for more than $83 million in bonds, which included $50 million for the protection of the finished water in the system, and which was also necessary to ensure that other maintenance and operations obligations are satisfied. That decision has necessitated today’s action; it is part of a pattern of inaction and outright refusal to marshal the resources necessary to meet the City’s legal obligations to effectively run the water system and protect the public health.
Trenton Water supplies 217,000 people in Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence Townships.
May 22, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin released a statement today about NJ Department of Environmental Protection taking legal action against the City of Trenton.
Trenton Water Works provides water for a significant portion of Hamilton Township.
“I applaud DEP for its leadership in ensuring safe and clean drinking water for all of Trenton Water Works’ customers. Legal action is a necessary but unfortunate step to take. We will join, and work with, DEP in its legal action and will not stop fighting until we are satisfied that all necessary steps are taken.” Hamilton Township Mayor Martin Said.
Full letter from NJ DEP Commissioner below.
MidJersey.News has reached out to Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s office for comment but has not received a reply at the time of this publishing. Once we receive a reply we will update it here.
Dear Mayor and Council President,
As you know, for over the past two years, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been working both to press for and to support the City of Trenton’s efforts to meet its obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and two 2018 DEP Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs) requiring, among other things, improvements to the operations of Trenton Water Works (TWW), replacement of lead service lines, and renovating Trenton’s uncovered reservoir to prevent contamination of the drinking water supply.
At the time of my last letter to you dated February 20, 2020 (attached), DEP was encouraged by the City’s recent progress in meeting its obligations, and by the Mayor’s proposed capital improvement plan and rate ordinance changes needed to support those improvements. And, as I shared in February, DEP is pleased to offer more state water infrastructure funding to support the City’s efforts, adding to the state funds we previously provided to the City.
I was deeply disappointed to learn that, on May 7, 2020, the City Council inexplicably rejected funding for crucial measures necessary to enable TWW to come into and maintain compliance. To be clear, the Council’s inexplicable failure to adopt these measures will prevent TWW from meeting critically overdue legal requirements of the ACOs and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
These requirements are necessary to ensure a safe and reliable water supply, not only for the City of Trenton, but also for the 217,000 people served by TWW in Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell and Lawrence Townships.
The Council’s unreasonable action has left DEP no choice but to seek judicial intervention to help ensure that the City will comply with the requirements of the ACOs and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Regrettably, DEP has requested that the Attorney General take appropriate action before the courts.
Ensuring safe and reliable drinking water is a critical public health priority, and it is imperative that the City’s recent progress toward meeting its obligations not be lost. While DEP must now take the unfortunate step of seeking judicial intervention, we also recognize that Mayor Gusciora has proposed appropriate actions to enable TWW to make the necessary improvements to its water supply system. The City Council’s refusal to provide the necessary financial support to achieve these legally required public health obligations simply leaves us no other choice.
DEP will, of course, continue to provide TWW with technical compliance assistance, as we do for all water systems. And, I invite you to contact me directly if you would like to discuss these matters.
Catherine R. McCabe NJDEP, Commissioner
The following is a statement from Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin:
“I applaud DEP for its leadership in ensuring safe and clean drinking water for all of Trenton Water Works’ customers. Legal action is a necessary but unfortunate step to take. We will join, and work with, DEP in its legal action and will not stop fighting until we are satisfied that all necessary steps are taken.”
Letter sent to Trenton Mayor and Council President from Catherine R. McCabe NJDEP, Commissioner planing legal action.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–This afternoon a 100 vehicle Salute to Healthcare Workers was held at Capital Health Hopewell Campus. Police, fire, road departments and others drove around the main entrance to the hospital at shift change to show appreciation to those who serve in the healthcare field during this COVID-19 pandemic.
TRENTON AND MERCER COUNTY, NJ–The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia today.
NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. – The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia April 28. The flight plans have been released to the public this morning and can be viewed below.
When: (Wednesday) April 22, 2020, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. (weather permitting)
Mercer County Mosquito Control will be treating larval mosquito habitats throughout the county by way of helicopter. Due to their large size and inaccessibility by ground vehicles, these larval habitats are routinely treated with a helicopter when mosquitoes are present in the standing water. You may see our helicopter flying near residential areas, positioning the helicopter to approach nearby areas of standing water targeted for treatment.
THIS IS NOT an area-wide Adulticiding “MOSQUITO SPRAYING” activity.
Aerial larviciding includes the use of target-specific, biorational granules only released directly above standing water to help prevent larval mosquitoes from developing into biting adult mosquitoes.
Adulticide applications (spraying) are conducted when biting adult mosquito populations exceed public health or nuisance thresholds. These applications are conducted via truck-mounted, ultra-low-volume (ULV) cold aerosol sprayers during late evening or early morning hours. Mercer County applies products (adulticides) recommended by Rutgers University for mosquito control in New Jersey, and a complete list with accompanying labels and MSDS sheets can be found here. Specific street addresses are not published, but adulticide applications are conducted on an area-wide basis and targets where adult mosquito populations may be concentrated during application times. For further questions or information, please browse our website or call/email directly. The office maintains no regular “spraying schedule” or “spraying list.” These applications are only conducted when deemed absolutely necessary, and under the appropriate environmental conditions, in order to bring mosquito populations to tolerable levels or to ward off potential mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.
PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A COVID-19 hospital worker appreciation event was held tonight at the Penn Medicine, Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro. Firefighters, police, EMS showed appreciation to hospital workers at shift change. The event kicked off with a parade of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances that circled the medical center. Firefighters ladder trucks raised them and flew flags as workers arrived and left work.
At the employee entrance police, fire and EMS applauded hospital workers in appreciation. Superheros handed handed out many boxes of pizza.
Spider-Man, Superman, The Hulk, Captain America, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus were all on scene for this event.
Partial list of fire apparatus at the event:
Plainsboro Tower 49, Princeton Tower 60, Princeton Jct Tower 44, Monmouth Jct Tower 20, Montgomery Tower 46, Hightstown Ladder 41, Kendal Park Ladder 22, North Brunswick Tower 2, East Brunswick Tower 709, Monroe Tower 51, East Windsor TW42, East Windsor TS 46, Jamesburg TS 42-J-10, North Brunswick Engine Co 1, Griggstown Rescue-Engine 35, Little Rocky Hill (possibly Engine or Rescue), Rocky Hill Engine 53, Kingston Engine 24, West Windsor Fire Police, West Windsor Engine 43, Spotswood Engine 71, Hopewell SS52 NJSP – NORTH STAR (740-750 circle & fly-by) Plainsboro Engine 49, Princeton Ladder 60, Monroe Tower 57, Monroe Ladder 23, North Brunswick Ladder 3, Hopewell Ladder 52, West Windsor Ladder 43
Pizza was from Romeos Pizza (Plainsboro) and Maninos 3 (Hamilton).
All firefighters, police, EMS as well as hospital workers wore PPE such as N95 masks or other covering along with gloves depending on duties.
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)– Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today announced that the County, in collaboration with health care partners, will open an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 31, at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence
The testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer Countyresidents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary health care provider (PCP). If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your PCP.
The testing center, which initially will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a collaborative effort between the County of Mercer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health System, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton and the Trenton Health Team.
“Testing for COVID-19 is necessary to identify and isolate people with infections,” said Mr. Hughes. “When it comes to setting up a testing site, we face the same challenges as do other jurisdictions, such as securing testing kits and the personal protective equipment for staff. I thank the County’s Office of Emergency Management, our health care partners, Quaker Bridge Mall management and the leadership at Lawrence Township for clearing the hurdles necessary to get this site online.”
Mercer County has contracted with Bio-Reference Laboratories, which will provide testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have been scheduled through their PCP.
To be eligible for testing, an individual must be examined by a PCP. The PCP will determine the need for the test based on symptoms. No one should be tested without being symptomatic. If the PCP deems a test is necessary, they will fax a prescription to the Mercer County call center with the patient’s phone number. Staff will then call the patient, take registration information and schedule an appointment, providing testing site instructions.
For the health, safety and security of staff at the site, patients will not be permitted to leave their vehicles. Walk-ups are not permitted. If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub provides a self-assessment tool that will help you determine whether you should be tested. Visit self.covid19.nj.gov.
The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight
Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight
Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight
Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area
PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.
These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.
The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.
Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight.
This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”
“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”
Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.”
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto My2020census.gov and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.
The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.
What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Wrestling Tournament was held today at Robbinsville High School. Joey Lamparelli (Allentown) received the 2020 Most Outstanding Wrestler award. (more to follow on Joey). Hopewell Valley High School was first place team.
Individual Results 1st through 6th:
1st Place – Shailen Savur of Robbinsville
2nd Place – Robert Fattore of Hightstown
3rd Place – Nicholas Ricigliano of Steinert
4th Place – Chloë Ayres of Princeton
5th Place – Kyle Doherty of Hopewell Valley
6th Place – Johnae Drumright of Trenton Central
1st Place – Sudesh Gurung of Nottingham
2nd Place – Christian Micikas of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Cory Stallworth of Trenton Central
4th Place – Martin Brophy of Princeton
5th Place – Aiden Weil of Robbinsville
6th Place – Rommel Mendez of Lawrence
1st Place – Joey Lamparelli of Allentown
2nd Place – Jacob Venezia of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Dylan Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
4th Place – Joseph Obst of Hightstown
5th Place – Silvia Aparicio of Hamilton West
6th Place – Gavin White of Notre Dame
1st Place – Drake Torrington of Robbinsville
2nd Place – Allen Lopez of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Anthony Verdi of Steinert
4th Place – Giovanni Morina of Hightstown
5th Place – Kolin O`Grady of Allentown
6th Place – Bakhtiyar Bajwa of Lawrence
1st Place – Kether Thornton of Hightstown
2nd Place – chris Sockler of Princeton
3rd Place – Cole Cifrodelli of Robbinsville
4th Place – Joe Vannozzi of Hopewell Valley
5th Place – Alexander Samayoa of Ewing
6th Place – David Aboasu of Nottingham
1st Place – Aaron Munford of Princeton
2nd Place – Alejandro Lopez of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Mason Louderback of Notre Dame
4th Place – Isaiah Lederman of Robbinsville
5th Place – Reece Schenck of Lawrence
6th Place – Isaiah Thornton of Hightstown
1st Place – dominic Riendeau-Krause of Princeton
2nd Place – Careem Frost of Lawrence
3rd Place – Elijah Rodriguez of Hightstown
4th Place – Owen Weigle of Ewing
5th Place – Andrew Nixon of Hamilton West
6th Place – Jeremy Murray of Robbinsville
1st Place – james romaine of Princeton
2nd Place – Matt Paglia of Allentown
3rd Place – Sean Mills of Lawrence
4th Place – Brian Zeglarski of Hopewell Valley
5th Place – RJ Stradling of Robbinsville
6th Place – Robert Doss of Hightstown
1st Place – Nicholas Golden of Allentown
2nd Place – Alex Stavrou of Hightstown
3rd Place – Kwanir Edwards of Nottingham
4th Place – Te`amo Nazario of Trenton Central
5th Place – Ben Shevlin of Hopewell Valley
6th Place – matt elsworth of Princeton
1st Place – Ryan Bennett of Hamilton West
2nd Place – Jake Dallarda of Lawrence
3rd Place – Tommy Zovich of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
4th Place – Nicodemus Leaver of Hightstown
5th Place – Gael Vasquez of Hopewell Valley
6th Place – Manuel Roman of Nottingham
1st Place – Josh Beigman of Hopewell Valley
2nd Place – Connor Verga of Lawrence
3rd Place – Paskal Miga of Allentown
4th Place – Dorian Henry of Nottingham
5th Place – Ireayo Kuku of West Windsor-Plainsboro South
6th Place – Clayton Resch of Steinert
1st Place – Chris Stavrou of Hightstown
2nd Place – Brian LaCross of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Timothy Glynn of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
4th Place – Jaylen Bynes of Notre Dame
5th Place – Jayson Williams of Trenton Central
6th Place – Ricardo Cruz of Lawrence
1st Place – Bryan Bonilla of Hightstown
2nd Place – Christian Cacciabaudo of Hopewell Valley
3rd Place – Daniel Schweitzer of Allentown
4th Place – Eric Brown of Trenton Central
5th Place – Jonathan Jupiter of Nottingham
6th Place – Mohamed Abdelatty of Lawrence
1st Place – Brenden Hansen of Hightstown
2nd Place – Matthew Moore of West Windsor-Plainsboro North
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Friends and families packed the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College for Mercer County Police Academy, graduation exercises held for the Basic Recruit Class # 22-19. Marty P. Masseroni Director, Detective Robert Gioscio Chief Instructor, Inv. Michael Winget Staff Instructor, Rene Mastroianni Staff Secretary, Detective Dennis Schuster (Retired) Range Master Sheriff’s-Liaison, Brian Hughes County Executive, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, John Kemler Mercer County Sheriff Board Chairman, Chief Lance Maloney President Chief’s of Police Association and Dr. Jianting Wang President of Mercer County College.
Mercer County Press Release:
WEST WINDSOR—Sixty-one cadets who made up the 22nd basic class of police officers took part in today’s Mercer County Police Academy commencement held in the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College (MCCC).
An audience of several hundred family members, friends, Mercer County dignitaries and law enforcement officials from around State of New Jersey saw the cadets receive graduation certificates to officially make them police officers.
The graduates endured 21 weeks of training at the academy in all aspects of law enforcement and will now serve in police agencies within Mercer County and elsewhere (see complete list below). The academy, which was created in October 2006, is located on the grounds of MCCC.
Michael Flanagan, who will join the New Jersey Transit Police Department and was chosen by his fellow graduates as class speaker, told the gathering that he was inspired by a Police Academy instructor’s pep talk in which he asked the cadets if they knew why police officers train so hard. “It’s because we always win … we have to.”
“Mercer Class 22-19, I want you to leave this graduation today with the mindset that we always win,” Officer Flanagan said. “Maintain your physical fitness because we always win. Keep up on your case law because we always win. Take your in-service training seriously because we always win. Know what’s around you 360 because we always win. While on this job, stay locked in and do not get complacent, because you always have to win.”
Also addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin Masseroni, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, Mercer County Sheriff John A. Kemler, Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association; and Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president. Also in attendance were Freeholders Ann Cannon, John Cimino and Lucylle Walter.
During training, the class studied in disciplines such as use of force, firearms, vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiation, advanced crime scene processing and domestic violence prevention, among others. Several cadets received awards at the graduation ceremony for their excellence in training. Ethan Fisher, Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, was chosen by his classmates to receive the Certificate of Merit awarded by the N.J. Police Training Commission to the best all-around graduate. Officer Fisher also received the academic award; Ayaz Kahn, New Jersey Transit Police Department, and Danae Rebelo, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, both earned the firearms qualification award with perfect scores; Alyssa DiPierro, Trenton Police Department, and Thomas Tramontana, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, both received the physical training award; and Jonathan White, New Jersey Transit Police Department, received the emergency vehicle operations award.
The Mercer Police Academy consists of two classrooms specially designed for the needs of law enforcement training, and recruits use MCCC grounds, its library and its gymnasium for training purposes. The campus includes a padded training room that is used for “defensive tactics” classes. A shooting range in Hopewell Township operated by the prosecutor’s office is part of the academy as well.
The following is a list of the graduates, their hometowns and the law enforcement agency each will join. (Alternate Route trainees attend the academy at their own expense and now can pursue employment as a certified police officer.)
Alternate Route: Ahmet Ekiz, Hamilton; Arthur Juba, South River; Anthony Leone, Springfield; William Revesz, Montgomery; and Tyler Vandergrift, Hamilton
Hamilton Township Police Division: Gregory Danley, Hamilton
Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office: Timothy Althamer, Flemington
Lawrence Township Police Department: Nigel Davis and Michael Hammond, both of Lawrence
Linden Police Department: Michael Linebaugh and Antoine Suggs, both of Linden
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office: Tyler Beers, Hamilton; Alesha Bethea, Trenton; Anthony Herold, Lawrence; Dylan Tallman, Hamilton; Thomas Tramontana, Hamilton; and Lawrence Windsor, Lawrence
Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office: Taylor Clanton, Piscataway; Jaquan Cook, New Brunswick; Devin Gray, Milltown; Lawrence Lenahan, Sayreville; Jennifer Lukacs, Perth Amboy; Christian Paez, Sayreville; Helder Paredes, Monroe; Danae Rebelo, Middlesex; Islam Saad, Sayreville; Jessica Tymitz, Woodbridge; Jeremy Vargas, Woodbridge; and Antonios Zaferellis, South River
New Jersey Transit Police Department: Mohammed Ahmed, Haledon; Michael Baloga, North Arlington; Michael Dowdy, Irvington; Michael Flanagan, Jersey City; Sean Gallagher, Belvidere; Paul Gawin, Saddlebrook; Kevin Guy, Fairlawn; Katherine Hormaza, Morristown; Ayaz Kahn, Nutley; Kevin Kolbenschlag, Brick; Joseph Mastropfilipo, Paramus; Christopher Montalvo, Bloomfield; Matthew Reiter, Manalapan; Elias Statham, Bayonne; Jonathan White, Jefferson; and Jonathan Ydo, Bloomfield
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office: Ethan Fisher, Branchburg; and Kyle Lippincott, Milford
Trenton Police Department: Michael Cahill, Lawrence; Julio Casso, Hamilton; Alyssa DiPierro, Hamilton; Austin Fountain, Hamilton; Michael Giovannetti, Ewing; Scott Hussey, Hamilton; Michael Kovacs, Hamilton; Alyssa Mantuano, Hamilton; Matthew Martindell, Hamilton; Jeffrey Pownall, Yardville; Michael Tylutki, Hamilton, Christopher Vitoritt, Hamilton; Brandon Walker, Hamilton; and Justin Walker, Hamilton
TRENTON — A Mercer County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment this week charging Billy M. Woodard, 54, in connection with five residential burglaries in Mercer and Middlesex counties, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced. The charges include three counts of burglary in West Windsor Township and two counts of burglary in Plainsboro Township.
In September 2019, a Mercer County grand jury returned a 55-count indictment charging Woodard with 19 burglaries in West Windsor, four in Robbinsville, six in Princeton, four in Lawrence and two in Hopewell. He was also indicted on many third- and fourth-degree theft charges related to the burglaries.
Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen M. Petrucci presented both cases to the grand jury.
Prosecutor Onofri stated that, between June 2018 and May 2019, West Windsor Township and surrounding jurisdictions were inundated with a rash of residential burglaries. A comprehensive and massive investigation was conducted by the West Windsor Police Department’s Detective Bureau, under the leadership of Chief Robert Garofalo, to determine if they were the acts of the same person or persons, and to identify those responsible and apprehend the culprits. The exhaustive efforts led to identifying Woodard as the lone actor in more than 20 residential burglaries during the aforementioned time frame. In almost every single case, the burglaries took place while the residents were at home and asleep.
During the extensive investigation, lead West Windsor Detectives Eric Woodrow and Jason Jones sought assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Ultimately, Woodard was apprehended during the commission of a residential burglary in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 2019. He remains in custody in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is charged with numerous burglaries in that jurisdiction.
“Although Woodard has been linked to 22 residential burglaries in West Windsor Township, the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Garofalo said. “The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the WWPD ask residents to continue your vigilance and be observant and considerate to your neighbors. If you feel something is abnormal in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department immediately.”
Prosecutor Onofri and Chief Garofalo thanked the following agencies for the support and resources provided during the investigation:
West Windsor Police Department
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Hopewell Township Police Department
Lawrence Township Police Department
Princeton Police Department
Robbinsville Township Police Department
Plainsboro Township Police Department
Lower Makefield Township (PA) Police Department
Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.