Police substation at mall opens

BY CHRIS GAETANO Staff Writer

Township, police and mall officials gathered in the Menlo Park Mall on Nov. 25 to announce the opening of the mall’s police substation, for the 15th consecutive year.

The station, to be manned by Edison police officers throughout the holiday season, is intended to support the efforts of the establishment’s private security at a time when shopping centers expect a larger than normal number of customers, which can, in turn, draw a larger than normal number of crimes. This, police director Brian Collier said, demonstrates the police department’s eagerness to make the shopping experience as safe and convenient as possible.

“I believe this substation, a strengthening of our presence, represents the commitment of the mall management and Mayor [Jun] Choi, to [make patrons] as safe as possible in this busy holiday year, which we hope will get busier and busier,” said Collier.

Donald Ford, the general manager for the mall, concurred, saying that the substation represents a great partnership between the police department and the mall. He also took the time to announce that this year they held a Holiday Shop Smarter program, where, on the day after Thanksgiving, the mall gave out 400 compact fluorescent light bulbs, energy- saving lights that can go years before being replaced. He gave the first two to Choi and Collier, remarking that the mall now had 398 left to give out.

The substation, which will be open for the next six weeks, is located on the mall’s second floor, near Nordstrom’s, and is intended for letting the police handle their duties near the area more efficiently. Police there operate and respond to calls in the same manner as any officer in headquarters would, addressing everything from suspicious persons and disorderly conduct to shoplifting and motor vehicle break-ins.

“You can go to a lot of places, but you can only shop with an Edison cop here at Menlo Park Mall,” said Collier.

Mayor Choi also took the time to ask people to consider those less fortunate, reminding people of the food drive currently being undertaken by various community groups, in cooperation with the township, throughout Edison. Anyone who wishes to help in the effort can drop off donations at various locations within the township, including the municipal building and police headquarters, both off Route 27, all six of the Edison firehouses, all three libraries, and both the Stelton and Minnie Veal community centers. Donations will go to all three food pantries.

Contact Chris Gaetano at sentnorth@gmnews.com.