Police Department Releases First Annual Report

By on July 7, 2019

Verona Police Department logoThe Verona Police Department is trying something new: On Friday, the VPD released its first ever annual report. The report on the department’s activities for 2018 is intended to inform the public about the work that the department does, and its plans for the future.

There were 26,429 total dispatch calls recorded by the VPD, a department of 30 men and women, including 4,451 calls to 911 for emergencies. The department made 21 arrests for driving under the influence and 31 narcotics arrests, and reported 66 cases involving domestic violence. The department used Narcan four times in drug overdose cases. In 2018, the VPD became the first police department in western Essex County to implement body-worn cameras.

The report says that the VPD has made traffic law enforcement a priority and that it issued 3,318 summonses in 2018. Of those, 1,618 were moving violations, 172 were for speeding and 50 were for cell phone usage. The VPD also found 207 unregistered motor vehicles and 167 drivers with suspended licenses or registrations. “Through proactively enforcing traffic laws,” the report says, “the department is striving to reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities, by specifically addressing speeding, distracted driving habits and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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“In a town where walking to school is highly encouraged,” the report continues, “Verona officers are strongly committed to reducing the likelihood of traffic related tragedies.”

The report highlights the VPD’s interaction with Verona’s schools, notably through its involvement with the law and criminal justice class at Verona High School and Police Day at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, as well as the $23,000 given back to the community by Verona PBA through scholarships and charitable donations. The report also includes some of what the department considers were its notable cases in 2018, including one arrest in a string of thefts from vehicles and another for burglaries in the Laning area.

The report notes that the VPD switched early this year from eight-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts, which MyVeronaNJ.com has reported has already sharply cut police overtime. The department will be implementing the electroshock devices known as Tasers this year as well.

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You can download the report, in PowerPoint format, here.

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