M.C.O.P. Program (Middlesex County on Patrol/ My Community on Patrol)
The creation of Middlesex County on Patrol was originated in 2003 by Freeholder H. James Polos in response to a Federal call for citizen involvement to improve Homeland Security and added vigilance within the community. Freeholder Polos developed the program for County workers' which uses existing radios and frequencies already equipped in vehicles used by County workers, resulting in no additional costs for equipment to utilize the program. The trained participants provide alert eyes and ears to law enforcement to significantly and cost effectively enhance crime prevention and aid persons in need of assistance.
This training program was developed in cooperation with the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office and the Middlesex County Chiefs of Police Association. M.C.O.P. has trained more than 1,700 County and Municipal employees to report crimes, accidents and suspicious activity and has sparked a statewide effort. M.C.O.P. has kept the acronym but changed the name to My Community On Patrol with the statewide effort underway.
New Jersey D.R.I.V.E. (Driver Response Impaired Vision Exercise)
For more than 10 years the New Jersey State Police provided an impressive lecture about driving under the influence (DUI) to high schools throughout New Jersey. In January 2001, Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos created a unique program utilizing golf carts and a specially designed course to educate teenager drivers about the dangers of DUI. Freeholder Polos contacted the New Jersey State Police to become the law enforcement partner for the program. On April 9, 2003, New Jersey State Police Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes formally committed the State Police as partner with Middlesex County to promote New Jersey D.R.I.V.E. across the state. The State Police incorporated their successful DUI lecture program with the hands on golf carts course resulting in a compelling educational experience.
Since the partnership was formed, thousands of high school students across the state have participated in this interactive program including Dover Township High School. The program was given at the Richard Stockton College Home Coming event in 2006 and the State Police Cadets Academy in Sea Girt. It has also been featured at corporation safety fairs, including Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Meyers Squibb in Union County.
Middlesex County Slow Down in Our Town
Slow Down in our Town is a speed reduction campaign in partnership between neighborhood residents and local law enforcement, working together to coordinate placement of lawn signs in targeted neighborhoods. The signs are moved around the neighborhood periodically because studies show that signs permanently erected on streets become so commonplace that motorists often ignore them. In addition, awareness training is provided to the participating residents and local enforcement.
The Middlesex County "Design-A-Sign" Contest invited students K-12 to submit designs for a sign that addressed speeding in residential areas. It afforded the opportunity for children to take responsibility to encourage others to be safe within their neighborhoods. Destiny Griggs, a 15 year old from Monroe Twp. and a student at Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High School in East Brunswick, submitted the winning entry. The slogan, "Slow Down in Our Town," was chosen as the name of this new program. It was submitted by Michelle Levash of North Brunswick Twp.