On May 9, 2024, the Attorney General’s Excellence in Policing Awards held to commemorate National Police Week, the Lakewood Police Department received the prestigious “Outstanding Community Partnership” award. Presented by Attorney General Matthew Platkin, this recognition highlighted the Lakewood Police Department’s exceptional efforts on behalf of the Lakewood Community Coalition.

The Lakewood Community Coalition was started about a year ago and is made up of members of the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Lakewood Faith Leaders, community organizations, and community leaders. The mission revolves around building bridges and fostering trust between law enforcement and faith leaders, community organizations, and community leaders. Through enhanced communication and collaboration, the Lakewood Community Coalition aims to understand better and address issues within religious communities and the surrounding neighborhoods. This proactive approach strengthens relationships and facilitates problem-solving and community well-being by working together to solve issues and help people in need.

The commendation specifically acknowledged the contributions of several Lakewood Police Department members, including Chief Gregory H. Meyer, Captain Steve Allaire, D/Sgt. Jeannette Shimonovich, Sgt. Kenneth Burdge, Sgt. Peter LaRosa, Sgt. Stephanie Mahone,  Ptl. Jason Yahr, Ptl. Kevin Bell, Ptl. Jeffrey Emmons, and Ptl. Joseph Soriano, SRO Michael Delvalle, and SRO Daniel Merrill. Also recognized were Cori Scotti from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish of Lakewood, Shrage Pinter, the Dean of a Jewish religious school, and the Coalition faith leaders, community leaders, and organizations.

Lakewood Community Coalition Co-Chairs Capt. Steve Allaire and Cori Scotti would like to thank the entire coalition for all their hard work and commitment to making this initiative a success. We extend our sincere gratitude to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and his team for their invaluable support. We also appreciate the generous contribution of The Strand Theater, providing us with their stunning and historically significant venue for our events. Additionally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Andrei Jackamets Photography for capturing the memorable moments during our Lakewood Community Coalition meetings. Excellence in Policing Video