Jackson, NJ – Just days after local officials expressed concerns about members of the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch overstepping its bounds, members of the Jackson Police Department met Thursday with representatives of the community watch group to discuss the scope of the patrol’s activities.
As previously reported on TOT News, both Toms River police chief Mitchell Little and Jackson mayor Mike Reina complained about the presence of the LCSW in the townships that adjoin Lakewood.
Chief Little ordered the LCSW out of his area while Reina accused members of deliberately trying to pass themselves off as bona fide members of law enforcement.
A Facebook post by Chief Matthew Kunz of the Jackson Police Department said that several members of his force met with LCSW members and Chief Robert Lawson of the Lakewood Police Department.
Kunz said that the LCSW was aware of allegations made by local officials as well as many accusations swirling on social media and that no evidence had been found to substantiate those claims.
At the meeting, the LCSW noted that its vehicles are clearly marked with their insignia and that they have permits for the amber warning lights used by their security vehicles.
Representatives denied that its vehicles use the red and blue warning lights employed by members of law enforcement and said that its members wear garments that clearly identify them as safety watch members.
The LCSW also noted that they have no intention of patrolling in Jackson and that its members are only trained to observe and report to law enforcement and take no actions on their own.
Kunz invited the LCSW to speak with his department if it had an interest in forming a neighborhood watch group in the area so that its efforts could be coordinated with the Jackson Police Department which has specific guidelines for citizens groups of this nature.