PLAINFIELD, NJ — On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Housing Authority of Plainfield and the Plainfield Police Department came together at Joanne Hollis Gardens to celebrate the grand opening of a new community Resource Center.
Located at 535 W. Third St., the new Resource Center will serve as a safe haven for residents in need and help restore trust through community policing. The facility will feature meeting spaces that will provide a wide range of services that will directly serve at-risk youths, battered women and individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse, while also increasing police visibility in the area.
“Our mission is to better increase the relationship between the Plainfield Police Department and our residents,” said Randall Wood, executive director of the Housing Authority of Plainfield. “This partnership reflects not only the spirit of the housing authority, but the shared values of our partners and their commitment to serving our residents.”
The community policing initiative is intended to help strengthen the relationship between residents and local law enforcement officials and to provide resources free of charge. The unit previously served as a living space but was vacant before it was remodeled to establish the Resource Center.
“Our priority is to always create viable, safe and healthy communities that empower our residents,” said Louise A. Colodne, chairperson of the Housing Authority of Plainfield. “We are able to deliver on those promises by collaborating with partners like the Plainfield Police Department, who share that same interest in serving our residents with integrity and respect.”
In attendance was Union County’s chief law enforcement officer and multiple other law enforcement officials, who gathered in support of the new community policing initiative.
“I commend the Housing Authority of Plainfield and the Plainfield Police Department for launching the new community Resource Center,” said Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel.
“This innovative idea will strengthen the relationship between community members and law enforcement, fostering a partnership between officers and the public they serve.”
The event drew leaders from the state and local level who commended the housing authority on creating a center where officers will work closely with families to promote community policing initiatives with the goal of improving the overall quality of life for the residents of Joanne Hollis Gardens and the community.
“It is the seemingly small things that sometimes make the biggest difference.” said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. “It’s a pleasure for me to take part in this ribbon-cutting ceremony today. I thank the Housing Authority of Plainfield, the Plainfield Police Department and all the other agencies involved that made this Resource Center possible. I look forward to seeing it flourish as a source of support to those that need it most within this community. This is a great example of how we can find creative solutions as a city.”
Residents and members of the public will be able to stop in during the hours of operation to request police services, ask questions or simply speak to a police officer.
“It’s important to create a strong relationship with the residents,” said Capt. David Guarino of the Plainfield Police Department. “Not only will they feel safe in their own communities, but we want them to feel comfortable coming up to our team with any questions or concerns they have.”
Attendees were gathered at the Resource Center, where residents and children met with community leaders and enjoyed activities provided by such Plainfield organizations as the Plainfield Police Department and Plainfield Fire Department. Parents and their children had the opportunity to learn about fire safety and ask questions about how to become a firefighter or police officer. They were also provided information on resources and giveaways as part of the continuing effort to educate the public.
“We want the residents of Plainfield to always feel they are connected to those who can improve their safety issues as well as quality of life,” added Barry Goode, city councilman and liaison to the Housing Authority of Plainfield.
To learn more about HAP’s Resource Center visit www.hapnj.org or call 908-769-6335, ext. 600.
Photos Courtesy of Isabel Hamada