Bright Side Police & Fire

Department of Justice Awards $2.2M for Innovative Community Policing Projects

NEWARK, N.J. – The Department of Justice announced on July 7, 2020 $2.2 million in grant funding to law enforcement agencies and stakeholders through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants Program. COPS Office Director Phil Keith announced 29 awards with award amounts ranging from $15,090 to $100,000. 

In the District of New Jersey, the state Department of Law and Public Safety is receiving a $34,350 grant for its Officer Safety and Wellness Program and Howell Township is receiving a $93,357 grant for its Youth Engagement Program.

“These funds will provide additional resources for the development of policing strategies that will improve the way law enforcement interacts with the people they are sworn to protect,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “This comes at a crucial time, as we work to refine and enhance community policing strategies.”

“The CPD Microgrants Program is a critical resource to advance innovative community policing projects across the country,” Director Keith said. “These strategic investments from the COPS Office pay huge dividends to state and local law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve.”

CPD Microgrants Program funds are used to develop the capacity of local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies to implement community policing strategies. Applicants were invited to propose demonstration or pilot projects to be implemented in their agency that offer creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving, or organizational changes to support community policing in one of the following areas:

  • Human Trafficking
  • Meeting Rural Law Enforcement Challenges
  • Officer Safety and Wellness
  • Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
  • School Safety
  • Staffing and Allocation Studies
  • Victim-Centered Approaches
  • Violent Crime
  • Youth Engagement

Funding through this program is available for the first time since 2018, following the successful removal of a nationwide injunction. These awards are being announced at a critical time for our country, when community policing strategies are very much needed to improve police and community relations.

To learn more about CPD Microgrants, click here.

For additional information about the COPS Office, click here.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of the agency by clicking here.

The complete list of awards can be found by clicking the image below.

Police & Fire Recent News

Brandy Lee, 33, of Runnemede Charged in Homicide

A Runnemede woman has been charged in the June 22 shooting death of her boyfriend, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Runnemede Police Chief Paul Dailey.

Brandy Lee, 33, of Runnemede, has been charged with one count of first-degree Murder and one count of third-degree Hindering Apprehension.

Detectives said Lee shot 26-year-old Kevin D. Owens, III following an argument inside a hotel room on the 100 block of East 9th Ave. around 3:30 a.m. on June 22.

Through the investigation, surveillance footage showed Lee was the only person to enter and exit the hotel room during the time of the shooting.

Lee was taken to the Camden County Correctional Facility and is awaiting a pretrial detention hearing.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Police & Fire Recent News

Detectives Investigating Fatal Shooting in Runnemede

Detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man in Runnemede early Monday morning on June 22, 2020, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Runnemede Police Chief Paul Dailey.

Police were dispatched to the 100 block of East 9th Ave around 3:30 a.m. for a report of a man who had been shot. When they arrived, they found the man suffering from a gunshot wound.

The man, who has been identified by authorities as Kevin D. Owens, III, was transported to an area hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Authorities have charged Brandy Lee, 33, of Runnemede, with one count of first-degree Murder and one count of third-degree Hindering Apprehension.

If you have any information that could help investigators, please contact Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jeremy Jankowski at 856-397-3485 or Runnemede Police Detective Robert Alexander at 856-939-0330.

Tips may also be emailed to

Post has been updated.

In The Courts Police & Fire Recent News

Trenton Man Charged in Magnolia, Somerdale Armed Robberies

Camden, N.J. – A Trenton man has been charged in two armed robberies, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer, Magnolia Police Chief Scott Paris, and Somerdale Police Chief Anthony Campbell.

Gregory Fisher, 49, of Trenton, has been charged with the following in connection to armed robberies in Magnolia and Somerdale:

  • Two counts of first-degree Armed Robbery
  • Two counts of third-degree Criminal Restraint
  • Two counts of third-degree Theft
  • One count of second-degree Possession of a Weapon
  • One count of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
  • One count of second-degree Certain Persons

Detectives said Fisher was first captured on surveillance cameras robbing the 7 Eleven on the 600 block of the N. White Horse Pike in Magnolia on May 31 around 9:30 a.m. The next day around 2:15 p.m., police said he was also captured on surveillance cameras robbing the Rite Aid on the 600 block of N. Warwick Road in Somerdale.

After the footage was released to the public, investigators said Fisher was identified by multiple witnesses and charged on June 11.

He is currently being held in the Camden County Correctional Facility awaiting a pre-trial detention hearing.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Bright Side Police & Fire

New Jersey American Water Announces 10th Annual Volunteer Firefighter & EMS Services Grant Recipients

CAMDEN, N.J. – MAY 18, 2020 – In honor of National EMS Week, New Jersey American Water is proud to announce the recipients of its 10th Annual Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. This year, 26 volunteer fire and EMS departments located within the company’s service areas have been chosen to receive grants, totaling over $40,000, which will be used to support initiatives, training and/or upgraded equipment to help the responders better protect themselves and the communities they serve.

“We began this program 10 years ago, and we are so proud to continue this tradition of giving back to our everyday heroes,” said Denise Venuti Free, director of Communications and External Affairs, New Jersey American Water. “This year, we doubled the total amount of the grant funds available and the amount each department could receive because we know how important it is to support these brave volunteers who risk their lives to protect their communities.”

This year’s grants will be used in various ways by each department from purchasing first aid kits and emergency rescue apparatus to accountability boards, which keep track of first responders during a rescue, and decontamination cloths, which wipe carcinogenic toxins off the skin.

The 2020 Volunteer Firefighter & EMS grant recipients include:

  • Adelphia Fire Company
  • Bayview Volunteer Fire Department
  • Beverly City Fire District #1
  • Bound Brook Fire Department
  • Bradley Gardens Fire Volunteer Fire Company
  • Brick Township Technical Rescue Team
  • Budd Lake Fire Department
  • Finderne Fire Department
  • Finderne First Aid and Rescue Squad
  • Good Will Fire Company #1
  • Green Knoll Fire Company
  • Haddon Fire Company #1
  • Highlands First Aid Squad
  • Little Silver Volunteer Fire Company #1
  • Logan Volunteer Fire Company of Pedricktown
  • Mansfield Township Fire Department
  • Martinsville Rescue Squad
  • Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • New Providence Volunteer Fire Department
  • North Caldwell Fire Department
  • Oceanport Fire Company
  • Riverside Fire Company #1 Inc.
  • Somerdale Fire Department
  • Somerset County Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team
  • Union Gardens Fire Company
  • Upper Township Fire District #1
  • Washington Borough Fire Department

More information about New Jersey American Water’s First Responder Grant Program can be found online at

About New Jersey American Water
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.8 million people. For more information, visit and follow New Jersey American Water on Twitter and Facebook

About American Water 
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.