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”

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO BE FOCUS AT COUNCIL MEETING

October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in an effort to help raise awareness and put a spotlight on domestic violence within the community, the Brick Township Council and Mayor John G. Ducey will welcome local organizations and professionals who work with domestic violence victims to the October 22, 2019 Council meeting.

“Domestic violence is a problem that affects every community in America. It affects every gender, every race, every age, every sexual orientation,” said Mayor Ducey. “This month gives all citizens the opportunity to learn about domestic violence, its impact on our communities and how all of us can help educate and empower people to get help and stop the violence.”

Mayor Ducey has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Township Council will be voting on a resolution recognizing the same at the meeting. The proclamation and resolutions will be presented to the guests at the meeting.

In this past year, there have been 3 homicides in Brick Township – all of them domestic in nature, all 3 victims were in relationships with the people who are accused of committing these homicides.  These were not random acts of violence; they were perpetrated by people closest to the victims.

The Township Council and Mayor Ducey have invited Providence House and Dottie’s House to the October 22 Council meeting. Providence House assists residents with emergency assistance in Brick Municipal Court. Dottie’s House provides short-term housing for victims who have fled a violent relationship and need a fresh start. The Township supports both of these organizations with Community Block Development Grant funds.

“Providence House and Dottie’s House are both outstanding organizations that work to help victims of domestic violence and the Council and I are proud to be able to support them through our CDBG program,” said Mayor Ducey.

Also attending and speaking at the October 22 meeting will be Monmouth University Professor and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Lawrence R. Jones. Prior to retiring from the Bench in 2017, Judge Jones served as the President of the New Jersey Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and authored over 60 opinions on novel issues of law, including   significant published and unpublished opinions on issues of domestic and dating violence.  During his years of service on the Bench, Judge Jones also served as a member of the faculty of New Jersey’s Judicial College, and was the creator of the N.J.  Judiciary’s 2016 training program, “Harassment:  Drawing the Line between Domestic Disagreements and Domestic Violence.” Jones was recently appointed  by Monmouth University to create and teach  what is believed to be possibly  the nation’s first-ever undergraduate course  on domestic violence law and social policy at a major university to (a)  be  both developed and taught by a former domestic violence judge.

“It is our hope that raising awareness and providing information gives people who are being abused the strength, courage and knowledge they need for them to seek and receive help before it is too late,” said Mayor Ducey.

RECREATION OFFERS CAMPS DURING SCHOOL RECESSES

Brick Township Recreation is offering camp programs for the upcoming fall and winter school recesses. The camps are open to Brick Township residents ages 6 through 12 and will feature activities and fun trips.

The Fall Camp is a new program and will be held on November 6 through November 8 from 7:30am to 3:30pm at the Civic Plaza. The fee is $100 per camper and includes a camp t-shirt and trips to Pump It Up (Nov.6), Climb Zone (Nov.7) and the Fun Plex (Nov.8). Campers will also enjoy activities and crafts in the mornings.

The Winter Camp will be held from December 23 through December 31 from 8am to 4:30pm (half days on 12/24 & 12/31) at the Civic Plaza. The fee is $150 per camper and includes camp t-shirt, bagels and juice every morning and trips to Knockerball, Speed Raceway, Bowling and the Fun Plex. Campers will also enjoy crafts and activities.

Both camps will have a mandatory parent meeting prior to the start of camp. The Fall Camp meeting will be held on October 22 at 6pm at the Civic Plaza. The Winter Camp meeting will be held on December 18 at 6pm at the Civic Plaza.

Registration for either camp can be done online at brickrec.twp.brick.nj.us or in the Recreation Office, 270 Chambers Bridge Road, Monday through Friday from 7:30am – 4pm.

FEMA CANCELS TOWNSHIP’S $5M SANDY LOAN

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce that the Township of Brick has been informed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they have fully forgiven the $5 million Community Disaster Loan that was issued in 2013. FEMA had previously rejected a request by the Township to forgive the loan.

“This is great news for the taxpayers of Brick Township,” said Mayor Ducey. “The recovery from Super Storm Sandy has been a long and costly process for our community. The cancellation of the $5 million will remove a significant burden from our taxpayers, many of whom experienced tremendous loss during Sandy.”

FEMA’s evaluation of Brick Township’s request to cancel the Community Disaster Loan showed an operating deficit of $15,010,062 during the time period. The deficit was largely created in the immediate aftermath of Sandy and was due to expenses and loss of tax revenue.

Super Storm Sandy hit New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Brick Township was one of the communities severely impacted by the storm.

Mayor Ducey appreciates FEMA’s reevaluation of the cancellation request. “On behalf of the township and our taxpayers, I would like to thank FEMA for fully forgiving this loan. We did what was necessary after Sandy to start Brick Township on the path to recovery and the Community Disaster Loan was a large part of that. With the loan forgiven, it is one more step in moving forward.”

2019 FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRESS REPORT AVAILABLE

The Township of Brick Floodplain Management Committee, in accordance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) Community Rating System (CRS) Activity 510, has performed its annual review of progress on the implementation of initiatives identified in the Township’s Floodplain Management plan.  The plan has been submitted to Township Council and is available online for public review (http://www.bricktownship.net/index.php/floodplain-maps-information/).

Hardcopies of the plan are available at the Brick Township library and the Township Clerk’s Office. This progress report provides the status of action items and supports the reduction of flood vulnerability in the Township.

PERMITS FOR BEACH VEHICLES AVAILABLE AGAIN

For the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, the Township of Brick will be making permits for operating motor vehicles on beaches available. The permits will allow beach access to vehicles from October 1st through April 30th.

“After nearly seven years, we are pleased to finally reopen our beaches to vehicles in the offseason and allow people to once again enjoy activities such as surf fishing,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “We thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout the recovery and replenishment of our beaches.”

Beach vehicle permit applications are available online and in the Municipal Clerk’s Office. The permit application fee is $35.

Beach access will be available at Brick Beach One only.

All vehicles are subject to an inspection by the Brick Township Police Department before a permit is approved. The inspection schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesdays – September 4, 11, 18, 25 – 6pm-9pm
  • Fridays – September 6, 13, 20, 27 – 6pm-9pm
  • Saturdays – September 7, 14, 21, 28 – 9am-3pm

Applications must be completed prior to inspection. Applications must include $35, copy of valid driver’s license, copy of valid vehicle registration. Applications can be submitted in the Clerk’s Office, to Traffic Safety at the time of inspection  and mailed to the Clerk’s Office. Applications submitted to Traffic Safety and through mail are payable only by checks payable to Twp of Brick.  Permits for applications submitted to Traffic Safety and through the mail will be mailed the following business day.

For more information call the Township Clerk at 732-262-1001.

SENIOR SHUTTLE TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO CONCERTS

The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will be providing door-to-door rides to and from the Traders Cove Concert series to residents ages 60 and over who lack their own transportation. Seating is very limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The concert schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 7 – Basso Brothers (rain date 8/8)
  • Wednesday, August 14 – Tim McLoone & The Shirleys (rain date 8/15)
  • Wednesday, August 21 – Motor City Revue (rain date 8/22)
  • Wednesday, August 28 – DJ Chris Anthony & Peter Carter’s Tribute to the King of Pop (rain date 8/29)

Concerts are free to attend and begin at 7pm. Seniors attending the concerts by bus will be provided chairs in a designated location. Any eligible resident wishing to schedule a ride to the Traders Cove Concert Series should call Senior Services at 732-920-8686.

The Senior Shuttle is a new transportation service introduced by Mayor Ducey this year. The Senior Shuttle offers transportation for residents ages 60 and over to the Senior Center, local shopping areas and points of interest.

SENIOR SHUTTLE TO BEGIN SERVICE JUNE 24

Mayor John G. Ducey is proud to announce a new transportation service for residents ages 60 and over. The Brick Township Senior Shuttle will begin service on June 24 and will provide free transportation to the senior center, shopping and more.

“Nearly one in four Brick Township residents is over the age of 60 and many of those residents do not have adequate access to transportation,” said Mayor John Ducey. “The Senior Shuttle will help those residents by giving them access to transportation to shopping, services and more. It is our expectation that this service will be well-utilized by our residents.”

The township recently acquired two wheelchair-accessible buses for the program. The township received one bus through a Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Grant administered by NJ Transit. The township applied for the grant in 2015 and was notified that the request was granted. The bus was delivered earlier this year. The second bus was purchased by the township through funds included in the 2015 and 2018 capital budgets. The purchase price was $83,986.

“We are grateful to have had a bus provided to us through a grant to help make this program a reality,” said Mayor Ducey. “This administration has worked tirelessly to find grants and other alternative ways to fund programs such as this instead of just looking to the taxpayers. It is how we have had historically low spending growth over the past five years.”

The Senior Shuttle will offer transportation to and from the Senior Center and nutrition program on every weekday. It will offer transportation to shopping areas (WalMart, ShopRite, Stop and Shop, the Dollar Store) Monday through Thursday.

On the last Friday of every month, the Senior Shuttle will bring residents to and from the Ocean County Mall. On remaining Fridays, the Shuttles will be used to transport seniors to local areas of interest including parks, boardwalks and more.

“It is our ultimate goal to address the transportation needs of our elderly to provide access to food shopping, our nutrition program and our senior center. In addition we will be using the Senior Shuttle to bring older residents to places of interest every available Friday. There are so many great places in our community and Ocean County and the Shuttles offer us the ability to help residents enjoy them,” said Zulma Soto, Director of Senior Outreach Services. Mrs. Soto will oversee the Senior Shuttle program.

The service is available to all residents ages 60 and over. Anyone wishing to utilize the Senior Shuttle should call Senior Outreach Services at 732-920-8686 to complete a brief registration. Advance notice to request a ride is needed. Residents will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis.

25th SUMMERFEST COMES TO BRICK IN JULY

For the past twenty-four summers, thousands of people have visited Windward Beach Park to enjoy concerts featuring music from every era. This year marks the 25th edition of Brick Township’s iconic SummerFest Concert Series and the township will be celebrating it with a lineup of great bands and fireworks.

“It seems hard to believe that this is the 25th SummerFest. It has been a privilege to keep this tradition going,” said Mayor John Ducey. “We are excited about this summer’s lineup and are confident that anyone who comes will have a wonderful experience.”

The SummerFest 25 performance lineup is as follows:

Thursday, July 4 – Jessie’s Girl and their Back to the 80’s show. Jessie’s Girl made their SummerFest debut last year and brought the house down. Jessie’s Girl is a popular band that sells out shows in NYC and throughout the nation. Jessie’s Girl has mastered stunning renditions of the world’s most vibrant songs, all while dressed up as the unforgettable characters of that decade! We invited everyone to put on your neon and your favorite 80’s inspired outfits to the show.

Thursday, July 11 – Brian Kirk & The Jirks – Formed in the early 1990s, Brian Kirk & the Jirks are one of the only bands in the East Coast circuit who can boast an impressive career spanning over two decades.  Brian Kirk & the Jirks are a premium 9- piece band specializing in interactive, high-energy music, and the band prides itself on packing the dance floor and creating unforgettable events.

Thursday, July 18 – Boat House Row – Boat House Row is a Yacht Rock experience like no other and they will bring the silky sounds of artists such as Hall & Oates, Journey, Christopher Cross, the Doobie Brothers, Toto, Chicago and more to Windward Beach.

Thursday, July 25 – Garden State Radio – GSR has played the last two SummerFest series and their energetic set has made them a favorite. Garden State Radio performances will have every person of every age not only hearing their music, but seeing and feeling it as well. With a state of the art light show that is perfectly sync’d to their musical performance, the band plays everything you know and love, bringing to life the biggest multi- genre anthems of the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s, and today.

All concerts are held at Windward Beach Park, Princeton Avenue. Each concert will be followed by fireworks.

The SummerFest Concert series was started in 1995 and has been held every summer since.

The Township’s media partner for SummerFest25 is Townsquare Jersey Shore, home of the most popular radio stations in New Jersey. Townsquare Media Jersey Shore’s radio stations include 94.3 The Point, 92.7 WOBM, 105.7 The Hawk and 1160/1310 WOBM-AM.

The Township is once again operating a free shuttle bus service to Windward Beach Park from locations throughout the Township for concerts. “We encourage anyone coming to SummerFest to consider using the shuttle buses. There is limited parking at Windward Beach and it fills up quickly,” said Mayor Ducey.

Shuttle buses begin leaving from Midstreams Elementary School, Drum Point Elementary School, Veterans Memorial Middle School and the Brick Township High School Parking lot at 5 p.m. Brick Memorial High School will be used as a shuttle bus location for the July 4 concert only. Return trips to the parking locations from Windward Beach begin at 9 p.m. Any person under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

A food court and beer and wine garden for guests ages 21 and over will be available for each concert.

SummerFest25 is made possible by the generous support of corporate sponsors including presenting sponsor Pine Belt Motors. Additional sponsors include CME Associates, Comcast, Bil-Jim Construction, MRC, NJNG, Nanina’s in the Park, JCP&L, Saker Shop-Rites and Ferriera Construction.

TOWNSHIP HONORS BRICK’S FALLEN HEROES AT WINDWARD BEACH

On Saturday, April 27, the Township of Brick honored the 18 township men who lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces at the Fallen Heroes Ceremony at Windward Beach Park.

“From the Civil War to Iraq, the young men of Brick Township have answered the call when our nation needed them,” said Mayor John G. Ducey. “Unfortunately, 18 sons of Brick never came home. They made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. These banners are an opportunity to pay tribute to these heroes.”

 Memorial banners for each of the 18 heroes were unveiled after the ceremony which took place at Heroes Circle, a monument dedicated to those lost during 9/11.  “Heroes Circle has become our community’s spot of solemn remembrance and reflection and as such, we thought it was the most fitting place to honor these heroes,” said Council Vice President Lisa Crate.

 Council Vice President Crate serves as the Council’s liaison to the Veterans Advisory Board and she worked with veterans to develop the Fallen Heroes banners and ceremony.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendants walked up to the entrance of Windward Beach for the unveiling of the banners which will be hung on the light posts along Princeton Avenue.  

 The Fallen Heroes Ceremony featured the Brick Memorial Honor Choir, Police and Veterans Color Guards and remembrances for the 18 men.