MARCH 24 COUNCIL MEETING ON AS SCHEDULED; CITIZENS CAN PARTICIPATE REMOTELY

The Township Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm will be held at its normal time. Town Hall remains closed to the public, however, the Township will be using WebEx to allow citizens to participate in the meeting via telephone.

Any person wishing to participate in the meeting remotely can call 214-459-3653 to listen and participate in the meeting. The passcode for the Council meeting is 712853416#.

CHIEF OF POLICE ISSUES PROCLAMATION OF LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY

Brick Township Chief of Police and Emergency Management Coordinator James Riccio has issued the following Proclamation of Local Disaster Emergency

BRICK TOWNSHIP COTVID-19 LOCAL DECLARATION

ALL MUNICIPAL OFFICES CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Attention residents:

Effective immediately, all Brick Township Municipal Offices and Buildings are closed to the public until further notice. Offices will remain open and staff members are available by phone and email. Township staff will accommodate any need that requires direct interaction and is time sensitive. Public Works services, i.e., sanitation and recycling collection, will continue as normal.

If you need Police non-emergency assistance, please call 732-262-1151.

  • If you need to reach an office in the Municipal Building, please call 732-262-1000. 
  • The Public Works Department can be reached at 732-451-4060. 
  • The Clerk’s Office can be reached at 732-262-1001.
  • The Building Department can be reached at 732-262-1030.
  • The Recreation Department can be reached at 732-262-1044. 
  • Senior Outreach Services can be reached at 732-920-8686.

Many services can be done online. Please visit the Brick Township Website at www.bricktownship.net for those services.

This precaution is being done to protect the citizens of Brick Township and the municipal staff. 

In the meantime, Mayor Ducey is urging all citizens to shelter at home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. Practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of this virus. The CDC recommends a six-foot buffer in all social settings.

We all have an obligation to our neighbors and loved ones to take responsible steps towards fighting and slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

The safety precautions we use in the coming weeks will be immeasurable in maintaining good health and protecting those most vulnerable in our families and community.

SENIOR SERVICES ACTIVITIES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Mayor John G. Ducey is taking the precautionary action of cancelling all scheduled activities at the Brick Township Senior Outreach Services Center until further notice. The cancellations take effect at the end of regular business on Friday, March 13.

The Brick Office of Senior Outreach Services will remain open for regular hours and will provide services by appointment only. Regular services such as telephone outreach and welfare checks will continue as normal.

The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will continue to operate and provide transportation for seniors to grocery stores and pharmacies. Senior Shuttle transportation to recreational destinations is cancelled until further notice. Transportation to medical visits will continue to be offered by Senior Services.

In addition, the nutrition site at the Senior Center operated by Community Services, Inc. will be closed from March 16 through March 27. CSI will continue to deliver meals through their Meals on Wheels program.

The Township will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 crisis and will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, please call the Brick Township Office of Senior Services at 732-920-8686.

 

SENIOR SERVICES ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION POSTPONED

As a precautionary measure, Mayor John G. Ducey is announcing that the annual Brick Senior Outreach Services Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 is being postponed until a later date.

 “As older Americans are among the most at-risk during the current coronavirus outbreak, we have decided the best course of action would be to postpone the annual St. Patrick’s Celebration until the risk has passed,” said Mayor Ducey.

 The new date and time for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be announced in the future. Any resident who has registered for the event will be notified of the cancellation and the new date when it is established.

 “The safety of the public is our number one priority and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this time,” said Mayor Ducey. “We urge everyone to continue to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and the public as this crisis continues.”

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM THE TOWNSHIP OF BRICK

Mayor John Ducey and the Township Office of Emergency Management are closely monitoring the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and are in regular communication with the State of New Jersey and the Ocean County Health Department.

During this time, all residents are urged to follow the practices cited by the CDC to help protect you, your family and the public during this time. These include:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve – not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands often with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds – especially before eating or after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home when sick and keep your children home when they are sick. Do not return to work or send your children to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

Residents who are at higher risk such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease should take additional steps such as avoiding crowds, travel and should stay home as much as possible.

Should you have more questions or concerns, the New Jersey Coronavirus Hotline is available 24//7 and can be reached at 800-222-1222 or visit www.nj.gov/health. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov.For information about Brick Township Public Schools and their plans, visit http://www.brickschools.org/COVID-19#0309.

In the meantime, Mayor Ducey, the Township Council and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to work to take necessary precautions to keep township staff and visitors to town hall safe.

MAYOR DUCEY ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS AND SENIORS

Mayor John G. Ducey would like to inform high school juniors and seniors in Brick Township about a scholarship opportunity offered by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The League is offering three $1,000 scholarships through the Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition. The statewide competition centers on the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best” and seeks to advance the virtues of elected members of municipal government.

“Brick Township has many exceptional young students. I encourage all juniors and seniors to participate in this scholarship competition and show just how exceptional, talented and dedicated the young people of our community are,” said Mayor Ducey.

Applicants will be required to write an essay of approximately 500 words with the theme “What My Municipal Government Does Best.” The essay should be based on the applicant’s perceptions and experiences with your municipality’s local government and should consider the public contribution of the municipal government. Judging is based solely on the essay including originality, technical composition and appropriateness and effective articulation of theme.

Students wishing to apply for the scholarship competition can download an application packet. If you would like to request an application by email, please send an email to emoroney@twp.brick.nj.us.

The scholarship is open to all high school juniors and seniors. Residents who live in Brick but attend schools in other communities should return their application to Mayor Ducey’s office.

A committee will select one essay from Brick Township as a semi-finalist. That application will be forwarded and reviewed by the NJSLOM Scholarship Committee. That committee will select 15 finalists and 3 winners. The winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and their essay will be featured in New Jersey Municipalities Magazine.

All applications must be returned to Mayor Ducey’s office by March 13, 2020. Completed applications should be mailed to Mayor John Ducey, Attention: NJSLOM Scholarship, 401 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, NJ, 08723.

BRICK HERO AWARDS TAKES PLACE ON FEBRUARY 21; SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATIONS!

The Annual Brick Hero Awards will be held on Friday, February 21 at Brick Township High School, 346 Chambers Bridge Rd. Doors open at 6 pm and the ceremony begins at 7 pm. The event honors Brick residents and businesses that exhibit a remarkable effort to make the community a better place. The event will include performances by local school choirs, theatre groups, dance teams, and more.

The Brick Hero Awards are hosted by the Mayor’s Teen Advisory Council, known as “The Society” in Brick Township High School and Brick Memorial High School. This year’s ceremony will feature remarks from Mayor John Ducey, Township Council and Sue McNamara, Director of Planning, Research, & Evaluation for Brick Township Public Schools. The goal of the Brick Hero Awards is to create a school and community effort to award acts of kindness and put those who actively do good deeds in the spotlight.

Mayor John Ducey created the Brick Youth Initiative to give young people a greater voice in our community. Mayor Ducey regularly meets with the Teen Advisory Councils at each high school to discuss Brick Township and listen to their thoughts and suggestions. “Our young people are a vital part of Brick Township and its future,” Mayor Ducey said. “I see how remarkable they are, with great ideas for our town and our future, and want them to grow and succeed into adults that carry with them the importance of being civic-minded and giving back to their community.”

All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Brick Teen Center, Lounge 270. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults and can be purchased at the door. For more information on the award ceremony or to nominate someone in the community who exemplifies being a hero in everyday life email Brandi White at bwhite@twp.brick.nj.us.

BMAC OFFERS SPORT SATURDAY PROGRAM FOR YOUNG ATHLETES

The Brick Municipal Anti-Drug Coalition (BMAC) is proud to once again offer the Sport Saturday program for township boys and girls ages 9 through 12. The program offers young athletes 90 minute training sessions designed to help them achieve their personal best physically, mentally and emotionally in both sports and life.

Sport Saturday sessions are available every Saturday from January 4 through April 11 at the Brick Civic Plaza. Sessions are at either 8:30am or 10:30am. The program is free for participants. Parents can register their children for one or more sessions. There is a limit of 30 children at each session.

Each Sport Saturday training session is 90 minutes. Sport Saturday provides enhancement of general fitness levels, sports specific training, and the importance of leadership qualities, problem solving and character development designed to help youth increase self-esteem, awareness and resiliency as substance use prevention strategies.

“We reinstated BMAC so that we could provide the young people of Brick Township with programs like Sport Saturday,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “This program will not only help young people improve their athletic abilities, it will give them tools to help them become better people.”

Trainers are provided by Mentor Academy of New Jersey and are certified physical education teachers as well as youth sports trainers.

Council President Andrea Zapcic says programs like this are important in the fight against opioid addiction. “The drive towards more professionalism in youth sports has caused an increase in over-use related orthopedic injuries in children ages 12 and up. Evidence suggests that a youth’s first exposure to a prescription opiate is often for treatment of injury or post-operative pain,” said Councilwoman Zapcic.

Council President Zapcic adds that studies show youth exposed to opiates (prescribed) before high school graduation have a 33% increased risk of using opiates recreationally in the years after graduation, including those with a previous unfavorable attitude toward drug use.

Sport Saturday is funded through the BMAC grant provided by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA).

Register for Sport Saturday in the Recreation Office, 270 Chambers Bridge Road, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4pm or online at https://brickrec.twp.brick.nj.us. Call 732-262-1073 for more information.

MAYOR DUCEY STATEMENT REGARDING RECENT SHOOTING AND CRIME IN BRICK

Mayor John G. Ducey has released the following statement regarding the recent shooting and crime in the community:

“As a parent of a 7-year old son, I fully understand and appreciate the fear we all experienced when news broke of a shooting near Brick Memorial High School. October 22 was, without a doubt, my worst day as Mayor. As the person who bears the ultimate responsibility for every single resident of this town, I recognize and continue to be fully committed to enhancing safety.

Many people have contacted me in the wake of this incident and shared their fears. Some have suggested that crime is rising in Brick Township. The statistics show this is not true. Yes, we have had several high profile incidents in the past few weeks. However, crime has been trending down in our community.

In 2018, Brick Township had 65 violent crimes. This is the lowest amount since 2005. Also, property crimes from 2014-2018 are down 21% compared to 2009-2013. This isn’t perception or conjecture. These are facts. These are statistics from the FBI Crime Report.

That being said, even one violent crime is too many. That is why the Council and I have been working with the Brick Township Police Department to ensure that they have the staffing and the resources they need to better protect our community. Over the past five years, we have taken many measures to do just that. These include:

  • Appointed Chief Riccio as police chief. I wanted a “boots-on-the-ground” leader and have been so pleased with my decision. He is a great leader of a great force.
  • Staffed our Police Department with the highest numbers of police officers in Brick Township history.
  • Restored the Selective Enforcement Team formerly known as the gang task force. We just added 4 officers to support their work.
  • Identified areas with high crime activity and designated them as special districts. These areas have 24-hour police presence. As a result, there has been a significant decrease in crime in these neighborhoods and a much better partnership with residents who are equally committed to a safe neighborhood.
  • Increased training for officers, particularly for active shooter situations.
  • Adopted a responsible landlord ordinance that will hold landlords responsible when their tenants commit crimes. We can’t control who lives in our community; we can’t make people leave. But, we can impose monetary penalties and force legal action when tenants don’t respect out community and our laws. We can – and did – take measures that will continue to encourage landlords to better vet their tenants and get rid of them if they prove to be bad citizens.

These measures have been paying off. The FBI’s statistics show that.

In response to the recent shootings that occurred in Brick Township, Chief Riccio has stepped up patrols and special enforcement in areas known for criminal activity. Among other initiatives, manpower has been added to the department’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and Selective Enforcement Team (SET). Recently, Brick detectives joined forces with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office in a joint effort to target areas known for illegal activity. These units worked together to aggressively target these areas which included those frequented by the juveniles arrested in connection to last week’s shooting incident. These cooperative efforts led to the arrest of nineteen (19) individuals over a three-day period.

In terms of actual statistics, there were 65 violent crimes in Brick in 2018; the lowest since 2005. Violent crimes over the past five years are down 18% from the previous 5-year period; property crimes are down 21%. By these measures, Brick Township is becoming a safer community.

Few things evoke fear like school shootings – the fact is that this happened near a school as kids were let out. Parents were rightfully scared. Also, Brick Township unfortunately has had a few high profile incidents over the past few weeks. Two murders that were the result of domestic violence and the two drive-by shootings including the one by the school, which turned out to be connected. These were not random acts of violence. When high profile crimes happen, they are posted on social media and shared and take on a life on their own, often not based in fact but based on instilling fear. It creates a narrative that Brick Township is a dangerous community. Statistics show we are trending the other way.

Also, gangs are not geographically exclusive to Brick Township. These people are members of gangs that are region-wide, if not nation-wide. That is why the fight against gang violence involves several layers of law enforcement. Our Police Department works with other local departments, the County Sheriff and Prosecutor’s Office, the State Police, the FBI and other agencies to combat gang presence and violence. This interdepartmental cooperation and the dissemination of information is essential for these efforts. Our Police will continue to work with them diligently and I have nothing but the utmost faith and confidence in Chief James Riccio and our officers.

With regards to what citizens can do to help us in this fight, first and foremost, I would encourage everyone to first think about your safety and the safety of your family before doing anything. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you see or are aware of any activities that concern you, call our Police Department at 732-262-1100. They are best equipped to deal with any issues.

Again, I understand the fear that was felt upon the first reports of shots fired at a school in town. It must have been similar to the fear that Brick Township parents felt in 1990 when news broke of a student holding his classmates hostage with a shotgun at a Township high school.

I absolutely will continue to focus on ensuring our police have the tools they need to keep us safe and know that our residents will work with them to whatever extent possible. Together, we will experience joys and face challenges and grow stronger in our commitment to our Town.

Sincerely,

Mayor John G. Ducey”