Safe Exchange Zone


The Township of Lakewood has set up a Safe Exchange Zone in the parking lot of the Municipal Building located at 231 3rd Street. Because of the high volume of online selling and trading of goods, we think it is important for the safety of our community to have a designated area for these purposes. “We wanted to give the residents of Lakewood a safe location to do exchanges and make purchases that are monitored by the Police Department”, said Chief Gregory Meyer. The Safe Exchange Zone is a well lit area that is under 24 hour surveillance.

While the Safe Exchange Zone provides an area for buyers and sellers to meet, it is important to remember that people you meet online are strangers and can pose dangers. Not every buyer or seller you meet online is someone who is true with their intent. When making arrangements to complete online transactions face-to-face, residents should be reminded to:

  • Complete all transactions during daylight hours, if possible
  • Bring a cell phone in case of emergency
  • Notify friends or family about the details of the exchange beforehand
  • Never invite strangers to your home or agree to meet at a stranger’s home
  • Reconsider any transaction with an individual who refuses to meet at a designated Safe Exchange Zone.

Taking these simple precautions helps make these types of in person transactions safer for everyone in our community.

For more information about personal safety online, check out these resources:


Officer William “Nichie” Preslar Memorial Highway Dedication

270 LogoThis May marks the 10 year anniversary of the Line of Duty death of Officer William “Nichie” Preslar.

Officer Preslar, a six year veteran, was killed in an automobile accident on an isolated stretch of Route 528 at approximately 4:00 am on May 14, 2007.

The accident occurred when Officer Preslar swerved to avoid striking a deer in the road, which caused his patrol car to strike a tree on the driver’s side.

Please join us, on May 7th, as we dedicate this highway in his honor.

For more information visit our Facebook Event Page



As per the safety of our Community, Lakewood will be participating in the “U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.” campaign April 1 through April 21, 2017.

According to the State of New Jersey, 3,179 people were killed nationwide in distracted driving crashes in 2014 alone. To combat these troubling statistics, law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive.

Distracted Driving is…any activity that takes a drivers attention away from the primary task off driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety and injure nearly half a million people every year.

These Distractions Include:

  • Texting
  • Using a Cell Phone or Smartphone
  • Eating & Drinking
  • Talking to Passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading (Including Maps)
  • Using a Navigation System
  • Watching a Video
  • Adjusting a Radio, CD Player, or MP3 Player

Among these, the most dangerous distraction is the use of a cellular device. Consequently the penalties associated with these interactions have been adjusted in New Jersey to the following:

First Offence: $200-$400*

Second Offence: $400-$600*

Third (or subsequent) Offense: $600-$800*, 3 motor vehicle points, as well as a possible 90 day license suspension. This does not include court costs.

For more information visit:

*does not include court costs

LPD Announces Passing of Township Employee Debbie Bittmann.

The Lakewood Police Department, with deep sorrow, announces the passing of Debbie Bittmann. Debbie passed away on Wednesday February 15, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. She was a valued employee of the Township of Lakewood for over 40 years and will be greatly missed by all.

At this time no memorial or funeral services are set to be held. Township flags have been placed at half-mast in her honor.

– The Lakewood Police Department

Communicating During a Power Outage


JCP&L’s top priority is to provide customers with safe, reliable electricity. When an outage occurs, it’s important to report it as soon as possible. Reporting your outage helps JCP&L pinpoint the damage and restore power safety and quickly.

Here’s how to communicate with Jersey Central Power & Light during a power outage:

CALL: Their outage hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-8877). If they have your phone number on record, the automated system will automatically identify your account for more efficient outage reporting. Please also consider adding an alternate number, such as a mobile phone, which you might be more likely to use during an outage. The system also will provide you with service restoration information.

TEXT: Register your mobile phone and report an outage via text messaging. Interactive text messaging makes it easy to report a power outage and request status updates. You can sign up for this service by texting REG to 544487 (LIGHTSS). You will need your account number to register. Message and data rates may apply.

ONLINE: Registering online is another great way to access outage information through your mobile device. You can receive a status update on your reported outage and other outages in the area by simply logging into your account at You can also view timely, accurate, and easy-to-use outage information through their 24/7 Power Center outage maps, or connect via Facebook or Twitter.

JCP&L is committed to providing you with reliable service, and communicating with you during an outage is an imported part of that process. If you need to update your contact information, please call 1-800-662-3115. Or, if you’re registered on their website, click on “Manage My Account” and then “Update Contact Information.”

For more information regarding power outages, including the restoration process and safety tips, visit


Holiday Crime Prevention Tips


With the holidays rapidly approaching, our thoughts turn to buying, giving and receiving gifts, visiting friends and family, and sharing delightful culinary experiences. However, there are others whose thoughts are occupied with unattended electronic/appliance-filled houses or apartments, distracted shoppers with extra cash in a purse or wallet, or the next “con job” in the name of a charity. Buyers also need to be aware of counterfeiters who want to entice them with promised bargains. Bargains that may be costly in the end. Counterfeit products may threaten our health and safety.

If you are traveling:

  • Put an automatic timer on your lights.
  • Ask a neighbor to check up on your home.
  • Don’t forget to have your mail and newspaper delivery stopped.
  • Sign up for email and text alert systems at your campus/local police departments to stay in touch if you may be away during the holidays.

If you are out of the house:

  • Turn on lights and music or the TV so it looks as if someone is home.
  • Be sure that your doors and windows are locked.
  • Don’t display your gifts where they can be seen from the outside.
  • If you plan to have packages delivered to your home, make sure you are home to accept them. If not, as a neighbor or ask that the package be sent to the nearest post office.

If you are shopping at a mall or a store:

  • Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you. Park in a well-lighted space.
  • Be sure to lock your car, close windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Call to cancel missing and stolen credit and debit cards immediately.
  • Make sure to complete warranty and/or product registration forms and mail them out as soon as possible since they may provide some kind of protection or replacement value if your property is stolen.
  • Check receipts to see whether your full credit card number appears. If a receipt has your full number on it, take a pen and thoroughly scratch it out.
  • Double check that you have your credit cards and check book after you pay for your items.

Top tips to help avoid purchasing counterfeits:

  • Beware of “too good to be true” prices.
  • Be careful when buying through foreign sites.
  • Purchase from authorized dealers or directly from the manufacturer.
  • Check to make sure the packaging is of high quality.

Shopping in Stores:

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
  • Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multi-use disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
  • Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee of you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies of you are using mass transit or walking to and from your car.
  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not leave packages visible through your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.

Shopping with Small Children:

  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
  • For the older children, have a central meeting spot designated.
  • For the younger children, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated. Be sure they know your name (not just mommy or daddy), cell phone number, and their address. Go over the dangers of strangers with them so they know who not to talk to or follow.

Shopping online:

  • Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed.
  • Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.
  • Beware of “bargains” from companies with whom you are unfamiliar – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.

Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company. Taking prevention measures up front can save you from being a victim this holiday season.

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Information provided by the National Crime Prevention Council

PRESS RELEASE – Special Visit

Earlier this afternoon, Officers assigned to the Lakewood Police Department Special Response Team paid a special visit to the home of 2 year old Jayden Marquez.

Led by Team Commander D/Sgt. Leroy Marshall, several team members stopped by to deliver a funds personally donated by each officer.

In total, the team was able to raise $1,000 to put towards expenses after yesterday’s tragic event.

A gofundme page has been established for anyone else wishing to lend a hand.

D/Lt. Gregory Staffordsmith #264
Lakewood Police Department
Detective Bureau Commander
Media Relations