HomeMoorestown NewsMayor's Column: Mayor Nicole Gillespie addresses public safety issues

Mayor’s Column: Mayor Nicole Gillespie addresses public safety issues

A listening session will be held on the matter on Wednesday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the township's rec center

Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of municipal government, and my council colleagues and I have been hearing from Moorestown residents and businesses concerned about a number of issues, particularly speeding and traffic volume. I am pleased to share that our new Director of Public Safety, Pat Reilly, is taking those concerns seriously and we are already beginning to see a difference in town.

If you haven’t yet met Director Reilly, you’ll have a chance to meet him in person and share any concerns you may have on Wednesday, July 26. He will be joining Deputy Mayor Law and I for a listening session at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of the rec center at the Municipal Complex. We recognize that summers are busy, and many people are out of town, so we’re planning to hold another session sometime in the fall. Please stop by one of those sessions if you can and welcome Director Reilly to Moorestown.

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Under Director Reilly’s leadership, our police department has stepped up speed limit enforcement throughout town and are surveying residents in certain neighborhoods to assess possible permanent solutions. The police department has also been hosting “coffee with a cop” sessions at local businesses, most recently at the Wawa on Main Street, where residents are able to enjoy a free cup of coffee and get to know our officers. Officers are also walking Main Street each shift to interact with business owners and residents and address parking issues. 

Additionally, with the 2023 budget, council voted to add additional officers to our patrol department. Director Reilly has already hired one new officer, a Moorestown resident who is currently enrolled in the police academy. We expect him to join the Moorestown Police Department (MPD) as a member of the patrol division by the end of the year, with another new officer slated to begin the academy in the fall.

The director and MPD leadership are continuing to search for new hires, with the goal of adding five new officers to the department in addition to school resource officers. The budget also included new equipment for the police department, such as automated plate readers, to assist officers in their patrol duties around town.

Speaking of the budget, yes, additional officers and equipment does mean additional expenses in the budget. While no one, including those of us on council, wants to see their taxes increase, given the increase in public safety concerns, this one was necessary. The good news is that the increase in municipal taxes (which does not include fire department, schools or county taxes) for 2023 is only 1.89%, which comes out to about an additional 70 cents per week for the average home in Moorestown.

Regarding traffic safety, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about Main Street. We will begin work to replace the 100-plus year-old water main that runs from Lenola Ave. to Church Street later this year then repaving that section. Next year, we’ll do the same from Church to Poplar. We know E Main is particularly bad, so we’ll be patching up some of the worst of that this summer. 

But the full resurfacing work that is needed won’t be done until the water main repairs are complete (it would be a poor use of your tax dollars to repave that section, only to have to dig it up to replace the water main then repave it again.)

Kelly Flynn, our assistant public information officer, has been doing a great job-sharing updates about this and other projects on the township website (www.moorestown.nj.us) and social media feeds. Did you know you can sign up for notifications by email or text by going to the homepage of the website, scrolling down and clicking on the big, blue button that says, “sign up for notifications”?

And, one last bit of great news, Kelly is also working on a new township newsletter to start next month. Be sure to sign up for notifications so you can be one of the first to read it.


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