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Jefferson mayor, Eric Wilsusen, honored the first responders and frontline workers who have gone above and beyond during the Covid pandemic this year, rather than choosing a sole Citizen of the Year.

Rather than choosing one township Citizen of the Year, Jefferson’s mayor, Eric Wilsusen, honored the first responders and frontline workers who have gone above and beyond during the Covid pandemic. “It would be difficult with what we’ve been going through to pick a citizen of the year; so many people did so many things,” Wilsusen said at the May 5 Township Council meeting.

The following representatives of each of the groups attended the meeting:

Fire Company #1 – Chief Ray Cabrera and Assistant Chief Dave Wetzel

Fire Company #2 – Chief Lou Loiacono and Assistant Chief Tom Jardines

Jefferson Rescue Squad – Chief Ron Anzalone and Past Chief Albie Garcia

Milton First Aid Squad – Chief Frank Parete

PBA President – Detective Tim Hecht and Delegate Detective Eric Sudak

iPediatrics Owner – Advance Practice Nurse Practitioner Kristen Puget-DePuyt CPNP

Acme Market – Assistant Store Director Jim Thompson

Other Township Council Business

Christine Williams, president of the Jefferson Township Historical Society, presented a photograph of the Jefferson Township Museum printed on canvas to be hung in the municipal building. Joining her were Historical Society members Roberta Shaw, Kathy Damerel, and Cliff Williams.

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Mayor Eric Wilsusen holds the photo on canvas of the Jefferson Township Museum given to the municipal building by the Historical Society, represented by officers (from left) Cliff Williams, Kathy Damerel, and Roberta Shaw.

Police Chief Paul Castimore reported that the department had received body cameras ordered earlier in the year. Due to the state’s mandate for all police departments to purchase the cameras, trainers are not available until May 25. The cameras will be used starting June 1.

Castimore said the department has a platform for data management. The council passed a resolution awarding a contract to SHI International Corp. of Somerset for $31,180.42 to continue records management. Camera footage and data from the police vehicle cameras purchased last year are stored in the cloud. The chief said he is confident that data management will not be a burden on the department.

In addition, Castimore reported on the semi-annual meeting among police agencies that serve Lake Hopatcong. The municipal departments around the lake met with the State Police Marine Division, State Park Police, Morris County Sheriff’s Department, Lake Hopatcong Commission, and Lake Hopatcong Foundation. Discussion centered on summer strategies for what all of the agencies anticipate will be a heavy boating season, the chief said. The State Park Police have two boats and the Morris County Sheriff’s Department has a wave runner to augment the state police patrols.

Pro-active patrols are planned for educating the public about noise and crowding problems, said Castimore. Byram Cove, which is notorious for crowding, was discussed by the police agencies. Noting that marina owners want stricter regulations and are asking for help in training people who rent boats with no knowledge of how to operate them, he emphasized that police agencies will all work on safety this summer. If a patrol spots a boat carrying children who are not wearing life jackets, the officers will give the kids free jackets, he said.

In other business, the council voted to move the second meeting in June from Wednesday, June 16, to Wednesday, June 23. Township Clerk Michele Reilly explained that the township must renew all liquor licenses by June 30 and she wants to ensure that license holders are ready for the meeting at which council votes on them.

Senior contributing writer Jane Primerano may be contacted at jane.primerano@eyesonlocal.com.

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