NEPTUNE — Police Chief Larry Fisher told residents he has a community vision for the Neptune Township Police Department, which includes increased communication between officers and residents.
“I’m a community officer, I grew up in the community and I grew up talking with the community. All I want is for the community to feel part of the township police department,” said Fisher said.
At a July 21 community meeting hosted by the Midtown Urban Renaissance SocietyFisher, who started as a patrol officer in 1988, said he wanted his officers to get out of their cars and engage with people one-on-one in township neighborhoods.
The biggest problem facing the department, Fisher said, is finding more “good officers” who want to serve the community, not just receive a paycheck, Fisher said.
“In a few months I will be looking to hire new agents, but I am looking for agents in the community in this area. So if you know someone you know, tell them to put an application online and start these interviews.” Fisher said.
Fisher said he wanted to recruit from the area because it’s important for the department to have a strong connection with the people it serves. The police department currently has 74 officers, but may have up to 78.
“I remember when I was on the streets as a young officer because I knew a lot of people, they shared information with me… and I kept it to myself but used that information to help solve some cases. That’s what we were missing,” Fisher said.
The chief added that he noticed his officers were on the highway “way too much, they’re not state troopers.”
“I want to see them ride in the community. I want to see them out of their cars,” Fisher said, adding, “You’ll see a difference in a few months.”
Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation president Dianna Harris said she was very happy to hear that Fisher was so focused on community policing.
“I hope to work with him and his officers to develop new creative activities for our young people,” Harris said.