Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was Jan. 9. So, looks at Fair Haven police of the past and present were peppering social media.
At Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, we have been there to look at them through a decades’ worth zooming in for many a close-up, personal and professional view.
The Fair Haven police force has always been a small, close-knit one, replete with officers who pretty much know everyone’s name in the borough. They pride themselves on community connection, protecting, and serving and knowing the people they protect and serve.
The size of the Fair Haven Police Department has grown a slight bit over the years, with 13, including the chief, in the department now and a few special law enforcement officers as well, but the mentality has remained the same. It’s all about the department credo in an acronym: Fairness, Honesty, Professionalism and Dedication (FHPD).
But policing goes further than the acronym in this small peninsula town. Cops stop for a lemonade at neighborhood kids’ summer stand. They have been known to reward kids for bike safety. Through the decades, they’ve stopped the car to go beyond a wave with a little chat when passing by on patrol. They’ve been known to console in a personal crisis and have a sense of humor about the silly and absurd. They know those they serve and it’s because they make that extra effort. Some grew up in the borough. Some are honorary residents. They pay attention to the little things that count in a big way.
For instance, residents have grown accustomed to their pet rescues — whether it be a cat out of a tree, a critter in a predicament, a lost pup or a renegade neighborhood dog in escape mode and looking for an unwitting adventure with the long arm of the law.
Oh, and they know the pets’ names most of the time, too. In fact, personal experience tells the tale of a crazy puppy who opened the front door on his own and had several officers out cordoning off the street and calling his name only to corral the leaping little beast back into his home safely. They even put a porch table in front of the door should he try his Houdini move again. If that’s not the height …
And, of course, when it comes to crime, these guys have a reputation for fairness and sensitivity in the smallest of shopliftings, like when the infamous and harmless Bella helped herself to a steak from the Acme and took a dive into the dumpster outside. They also get right down to serious police business of catching the culprit in a larger scale robbery, burglary, drug bust assault or even murder.
So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day, honors local police of the past and some of the present. It offers a look back to decades ago (far left), chiefs of the past and present, Carl Jacubecy and Joe McGovern, and a snapshot of the crew of a few years ago.
The faces are familiar to many. Do you know the year of the oldest photo? Who was chief? Your Fair Haven community policing story?
Have you thanked an officer today?