The Haddonfield board of commissioners formally recognized Nov. 27 as Lou Frontino Day at its recent meeting, in honor of the borough’s retiring fire chief.
Frontino resigned in early November as fire chief and firefighter, but will continue to serve as an EMT. According to a borough proclamation, Frontino became a firefighter in 1992 and an EMT the following year. He was named fire chief nearly four years ago, serving his first term during COVID.
“I’ve known Lou for as long as I’ve been here, during the early years,” Police Chief Jason Cutler recalled. ” … Under his leadership, it’s been a cohesive bunch with police and fire, and I know in the future, we’ll have more of the same. I’m really going to miss Lou. Although he’s not leaving the public safety service, he will be missed as fire chief.”
Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich acknowledged that while she and Frontino did not always see eye to eye, he earned her respect and gratitutde.
“Thank you for being a courageous and kind compassionate individual,” the mayor told Frontino at the meeting. “Thank you for serving others even when it was incredibly difficult and for putting others first, even ahead of your own family at times.”
On the same day that Frontino resigned, Haddon Fire Company No. 1 President Charlene Creed and Vice President Nicky Frontino also took their leave. Their roles will be assumed by James Killmeyer and former police lieutenant Stephen Camiscioli.
Bianco Bezich noted that no new fire chief will be appointed at this time due to this month’s fire election on Thursday, Dec. 7 and further investigation being needed. Assistant Fire Chief Pat Gorman will fill the interim role and a newly elected chief will assume the position in January. The borough will also work closely with neighboring municipalities in an emergency.
During his report at the commissioners’ meeting, Cutler acknowledged a seasonal increase in “porch pirates” – a reference to thefts of packages left on doorsteps – and advised residents to have a neighbor pick up packages when they can’t. He also encouraged them to lock the doors of both homes and cars.
“Now that we’re going into the season of opportunity so to speak, we don’t want to ruin it with the theft of your presents,” he said.
Bianco Bezich also reported that her administration recently became the first to post notifications for incidents like burglaries and vehicle theft online.
“That hasn’t happened before,” she noted. “In some ways, the people will respond to that by saying, ‘Look at all this crime that’s happening in Haddonfield,’ when in fact, we’ve never been a bubble. There hasn’t been a year where there hasn’t been crime in Haddonfield, but we’re the first to tell you about it.”
During the holiday season, the borough police headquarters will have a drop box for new and unused toys to be donated through Toys for Tots.
In other news:
- The commissioners also proclaimed November World War II Veterans Remembrance Month, Nov. 11 as Veterans Day and Nov. 27 as Mount Olivet Baptist Church of Haddonfield Day, the latter to recognize the historic church’s 132 years of contributions.
- The commissioners passed on second reading an ordinance that requires owners of single-family, two-family and multi-family rental dwellings to be inspected for lead-based paint hazards, as required by state law. Owners and landlords will have to remediate any hazards found.
- Upcoming events that were approved include a Menorah Lighting at Library Point on Monday by the Chabad of Camden and Burlington counties.
The next commissioners’ work session and regular meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 18, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., respectively, and available on Zoom.