Bedminster Township Council Commends Police Restraint and Enhances Public Safety Measures

In a recent Bedminster Township committee meeting, officials discussed a range of topics, with public safety taking center stage. The police department was commended for its handling of a sensitive incident involving a man with what appeared to be a handgun, later identified as a power tool. The meeting also saw discussions on improving safety measures, such as the extension of pedestrian travel times at a local intersection, and the potential installation of license plate reading cameras in collaboration with surrounding towns.

The commendation for the Bedminster Police Department followed a tense encounter where officers exercised restraint and professionalism. The incident involved a man waving an object resembling a handgun. Officers responded to the situation with caution, and after de-escalating the incident, it was discovered that the object in question was a power tool. The individual was arrested and faced multiple charges. Mayor Lawrence F. Jacobs and council members praised the police for their composure and the expertise they displayed in handling potentially dangerous situations. This event underscored the value of police training and experience, which are vital to maintaining public safety and trust.

Further emphasizing their commitment to law enforcement and community well-being, the police department received a donation from a local resident, which will be used to purchase breaching tools for the department’s emergency response fleet. Police Chief Bernardo also informed the committee of upcoming community policing events, including National Night Out and Police Youth Week. Additionally, he issued a public service announcement about unauthorized construction work in the township by a specific company, alerting residents to exercise vigilance.

The committee’s focus on public safety extended beyond the police department’s recent actions. Members engaged in discussions about collaborative efforts with neighboring towns and the county sheriff’s department to improve overall security. Ideas included the deployment of license plate readers and stationing sheriff’s department vehicles at strategic highway interchanges to increase visibility and deter criminal activity. The council members expressed unanimous support for a consistent public safety ordinance across municipalities.

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Aside from public safety, the meeting covered several administrative matters. The council approved the meeting minutes and granted a seasonal farm market permit to Donlon Brew Works LLC. However, Mayor Jacobs and Committeeman Douglas A. Stevinson had no updates on the Farmers Market and Library Board meetings due to the timing of those events.

Updates from other departments and committees were presented, highlighting ongoing initiatives and future plans. Committeeman Stevinson discussed the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) activities, including snow removal and road maintenance, and the potential need for a full-time zoning enforcement officer to ensure compliance with local ordinances. Committeeman R. Colin Hickey shared Board of Health updates, focusing on nutritional education partnerships and radon detection promotion. Committeewoman Renee Mareski reported on the Environmental Commission’s new commissioner and the plans to plant a Salem Oak tree. Committeewoman Gina Lisa-Fernandez provided details on the Recreation Committee’s forthcoming spring programs and facilities improvements, thanks to a Recreation Improvement Grant from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

Township Administrator M. Ray updated on the budget preparation and the joint emergency services funding meetings. The council also discussed capital expenditure plans for new radio equipment, which is important for emergency services.

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Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Lawrence F. Jacobs
City Council Officials:
Douglas A. Stevinson, Gina Lisa-Fernandez, R. Colin Hickey, Renee Mareski

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