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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Rutherford Earns Gold Level in NJ Safe Routes to School

Submitted by Sgt. Julie Zeigler, Rutherford Police Department

Mayor Nunziato, Police Chief Russo, members of the RPD, Rutherford Green Team, and Crossing Guards with Lisa Lee, Deputy Director of Bike & Pedestrian Programs at EZ Ride

In 2020, the Rutherford Police Department Traffic Bureau continued with its pedestrian safety standard of excellence. While Covid-19 brought about many changes to how the students of Rutherford attended school, the Rutherford Police Department took that time to assess our current practices. Our continued safety enhancements allowed Lisa Lee, Deputy Director, Bike & Pedestrian Programs, of EZ Ride to use the Traffic Police Track to nominate the Rutherford Police Department for the GOLD LEVEL of RECOGNITION FOR THE NEW JERSEY SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOLS PROGRAM.

Officer Anthony Bachmann, RPD Traffic Coordinator, conducted our annual crossing guard training program. This training assists crossing guards with uniform and comprehensive training allowing our crossing guards to perform their duties more effectively and safely. Officer Bachmann also monitored and made changes if needed at five busy intersections where the Rutherford Police Department has crossing guards assigned. Once completed, he submitted proof training records and 5 “Intersection Reports'' to my attention. Mayor Frank Nunziato provided a Letter of Support for our continued efforts when we applied for the SRTS Gold Award in 2020.

With the completion of training and intersection reports, along with the comprehensive Crossing Guard Policy, and Complete Streets Policy adopted, the Borough of Rutherford is one of EZ Ride's 6 Gold municipal awardees in 2021; term of award 2021-2023. There are only 9 Gold municipal awardees in all of New Jersey in 2021. Five of the Gold municipal awardees are from Bergen County (Leonia, Maywood, Fair Lawn, Garfield, and Rutherford). Down from the 28 Gold winners presently (2019-2021) – in 2019, we were awarded the Gold as well. To see a list of all the Current Safe Routes Recognition Program Winners, click here.

The Rutherford Police Department’s current Traffic Bureau consists of Officer Anthony Bachmann, Traffic Coordinator, Officer Steven Villareale, and Officer Bruce Reed.

As the Administrative Sergeant, Sgt. Julie Zeigler oversees the Traffic Bureau and works closely with the officers on projects such as this one. The work we completed in achieving the Gold Award allows the Rutherford Green Team the use of the Safe Routes To Schools GOLD award to get action points for Sustainable Jersey grants.

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