Warren, Bernards Townships are Third and Fifth 'Safest' Towns in NJ

Commercial organization ranks 50 top safest towns in New Jersey, with Warren and Bernards near the top of the list.

Warren police car. By John Patten
Warren police car. By John Patten
Both Warren Township and Bernards Township were selected as being among the top five safest towns in New Jersey by SafeWise.com, a company that reviews home security systems.

Warren was ranked as third, and Bernards Township was fifth on the list released by SafeWise.com.

Warren Township did not apply for the unsolicited recognition, noted Warren Township Committeewoman Carolann Garafola.

Warren officials said their understanding is that the ranking was based on multiple criteria, including recreation and safety of facilities.

Warren Township Committeeman Victor Sordillo, who said his own profession involves risk management, said that the factors taken into account for such assessments also include maintenance of playground equipment and roads, as well as physical protection of residents.  

"It's a total environment to reduce the loss of property, life and opportunities for injury," Sordillo said.

Nevertheless, Bernards Township Mayor John Carpenter said he sees the ranking as "a great tribute to the police department in town." 

The police department must deal with issues such as burglaries — and scheduled a crime prevention seminar for Monday night following a number of vehicle and home break-ins in the past year — but also provide a safer environment for residents in other ways, Carpenter said.

For example, Carpenter added, all of Bernards Township's police officers are trained in CPR, meaning that when they arrive first at the scene for a call from someone in distress, that person begins to get aid even before medical personnel arrive to take over.

Carpenter said Bernards Township's rescue squads and fire companies are made up of volunteers, who also contribute greatly to the safety of the community — a point also made when the list was discussed at last week's Warren Township Committee meeting.

Warren Township Police Lt. Herbert Hentschel said the award could not be possible without the diligence of an outstanding police department.

"Our patrolmen are the backbone of our department," Hentschel said. "They are the ones that work all hours of the day and night patrolling the township to keep our residents safe."

He added that the township's dispatchers also greatly assist in shortening the  response time to these calls, which in turn assist us in apprehending any criminals. 

Hentschel said that he also considers that the Township Committee works with the police department to assist in any way possible, whether to address staffing issues or to purchase equipment needed "to perform our job."

Garafola said that Warren had just learned last week about the ranking — which follows last year's choice of Warren as the number two 'best place to live' in New Jersey, and best in Central New Jersey, according to New Jersey Monthly magazine.

She added that Money magazine had in 2009 placed Warren Township as number six on its list of best small towns throughout the nation.


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