The WWP News in conjunction with West Windsor Gives Back, a new community organization, will be running articles throughout 2018 in celebration of the West Windsor Police Department’s 50th anniversary.

West Windsor Police officers Brian Caulfield, Walter Wilcox, Alfonso Robles and Chief Robert Garofalo celebrate the 50th anniversary of the police department during an open house at the police/court building on Nov. 11.

If you ask most people, the last place they’d to spend their Sunday afternoons is at the town jail.

But at the West Windsor Police Department’s 50th Anniversary Open House Celebration on Nov, 11 that was just one of the many attractions they enjoyed.

Prior to 1994, the police were squeezed into the town hall building with most other municipal departments. It was then that the township built teh police police and municipal court their own building at the municipal site. The building is dedicated to late Chief Frank Cox, who was the force’s second commanding officer.

Current Chief Robert Garofalo was enthusiastic about the open house. “We have always had a great relationship with the community,” he said. “After this, I think that relationship jumped 1,000 percent. People kept coming in. We were supposed to end at 3 p.m. but people kept coming in until almost 4 p.m.”

Garofalo said that the police officers enjoyed the experience—even the younger ones who can sometimes be a bit shy.

“It was really cool,” he said. “They even brought inside a motorcycle and bicycle. I thought, wow, this is fantastic.”

Garafalo said he loved how the officers enjoyed talking to the community and showing what they do. It was so successful he is considering making it an annual event.

More than 200 visitors walked through the entry area, which is under 24-hour surveillance, and were welcomed to the department’s inner sanctum by Garofalo and Lt. Mark Lee.

In addition to the half a dozen jail cells (mostly used as temporary holding cells), attendees toured offices, the detective bureau, an exercise area with lockers, the records department and the high-tech 911 call center hub.

Several youngsters accompanied their parents and enjoyed interacting with the officers.

Arjun Agarwal, son of former councilwoman Jyotika Bahree, was fascinated with the call routing in the 911 dispatch area. “I am thankful that there is help available 24/7 for those that need it,” he said.

For Owen Diaz, it was all about the K9 officer dogs that work with Officer Douglas Montgomery.

“K9 Cherno was very calm and adorable. I really liked how fluffy he was and how he looked like a bear.” Diaz said, adding that K9 Mackey was cute “I really liked how confident he was but still had a goofy side to him.”

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As part of the thank you to the West Windsor Police for 50 years of service to the community, WWGB has been holding fundraisers and raffles to raise funds for the purchase of a police drone to help with search and rescue, accident site reconstruction, crime scene analysis and active shooter situations.

Chief Garofalo thanked Mayor Hemant Marathe for setting up WWGB to help different groups, councilwoman Virginia Manzari and the volunteers of WWGB for working hard to make it happen, the West Windsor Lions Club for their work selling fund raising raffle tickets, and the West Windsor community for its support.

West Windsor resident Kash Delory and the West Windsor Lions Club have joined WWGB at community events throughout the year selling 50-50 raffle tickets.

Anyone interested can purchase the $10 raffle tickets by emailing wwgivesback@gmail.com or by finding Manzari before 7:00 p.m. at the West Windsor holiday lighting ceremony at the Ron Rogers Arboretum on Sunday, December 2. The drawing will be held at the Tree Lighting.