Lakewood Prepares for Purim


lawsonIn advance of the busy day of Purim this coming Sunday, the Lakewood Police Department has been prepped for the festive Yom Tov. Both Police Chief Rob Lawson and Deputy Mayor Reb Menashe Miller, who met on Monday to finalize arrangements, said that the police are well informed of the heavy traffic spots and will do whatever they can to ensure a safe and enjoyable Purim for all.

Numerous steps have been taken for pedestrian safety. Crossing guards will be posted at many intersections to assist pedestrians and keep a steady flow of vehicular traffic. Residents are reminded to show the guards hakoras hatov for all year.

 Amongst the locations that will have a crossing guard are:

– Forest Avenue and 14th Street (two crossing guards)

Forest Avenue and 6th Street

– Forest Avenue and 7th Street (John Alfieri will be there)

– Forest Avenue and 9th Street

– Madison Avenue and 9th Street

– Clifton Avenue and Ninth Street

– Clifton Avenue and Courtney Road

– Monmouth Avenue and 7th Street

– Princeton Avenue and 7th Street

– Squankum Road and Princeton Avenue

– Park Avenue and 7th Street

– Martin Luther King Drive and Pine Street

– Case Road and 14th Street

– Tanglewood Lane and 14th Street

The crossing guards will be stationed from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The crossing guard at Tanglewood Lane and 14th Street will be present until 5 p.m.

As in past years, Police Chief Rob Lawson, Deputy Mayor Reb Menashe Miller, Chaplain Reb Avrohom Moshe Muller and others have discussed safety preparations for the busy day of Purim. The officials discuss the busy intersections in Lakewood and share suggestions and approaches for maintaining pedestrian and vehicular safety. Sergeant Frank Work of Lakewood Police’s Traffic and Safety Department and Deputy Police Chief Fred Capper are integrally involved in the Purim arrangements, while Mrs. Jean Haber of the Traffic and Safety Department has directed the placement of the crossing guards in the most strategic locations.

Deputy Mayor Miller told the Yated that this Motzoei Shabbos, a light tower will be placed at Cedar Row and 14th Street, which has experienced a lot of traffic during recent years on Purim night. Once again, there will be light towers at Forest Avenue and 14th Street and at the intersection of Case Road and 14th Street.

Like last year, 6th Street in the area of Bais Medrash Govoah – from Forest Avenue to Lakewood Avenue – will be turned into a one-way thoroughfare for Purim to ensure better traffic flow and allow parking on both sides of the street for all those visiting the roshei yeshiva, the mashgiach and rabbonim in the area. Drivers will enter 6th Street from Forest Avenue.

Lawrence Avenue will also be made into a one-way thoroughfare for the day of Purim.

Radar speed boards will be placed on 14th Street and Sunset Road, and a sign board will be placed on Forest Avenue, to alert drivers to adhere to speed limits.

Chief Lawson said on Monday, “Purim is a very special holiday for me personally. It’s my favorite holiday, seeing people having a good time and enjoying themselves.”

Lawson stated, however, that the Police Department will have zero tolerance for drinking and driving.

“It is fine to drink until you don’t know the difference between righteous Mordechai and wicked Haman,” Lawson said, “but the drinking should be at a home and one should absolutely not drive a vehicle. Doing that endangers oneself and others.”

Lawson feels confident about the pre-Purim township preparations. 

“We do extensive preparations for Purim and we perfect it every year. Rabbi [Menashe] Miller writes a briefing for our department and after each Purim we sit down to critique our system and make it even better. This has been going on even before I was chief, so we have a real good handle on it.”

Lawson related that community liaisons are available to assist the Police Department should the need arise, and these include Chaplain Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, Chaplain Rabbi Menashe Miller, Chaplain Rabbi Moshe Dovid Ehrman and Chaplain Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Muller.

Residents are asked to pay extra caution while driving and adhere to the directions and requests of police officers and crossing guards.

It is also extremely important for all those going around collecting tzedakah this Motzoei Shabbos to wear reflector belts.

Wishing everyone ah freilichin Purim!

{Story by Yated Ne’eman/ Newscenter}


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