North Plainfield’s Beginning
Nestled in the northeast corner of Somerset County lies the small borough of North Plainfield. It is bordered on the northwest by the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains and, on the south and east, the Green Brook provides a natural boundary between Union and Somerset Counties. Rock Avenue, on the west, divides the towns of North Plainfield and Green Brook.
Flowing through the town are two mainwaterways, the Green Brook, as mentioned, and the Stony Brook. These two streams now quietly flowing through the Boro were once an important
source of power and because of the rich, fertile soil along their banks
many early settlers made this area their home.
Originally, Somerset County operated as a single township. In 1769, by Royal Charter, Bernards Township was formed out of the northern precinct of the county. On March 5, 1806, Warren was created as a separate township composed of the present day North Plainfield, Warren, Green Brook and Watchung.
On April 2, 1872, an Act of the New Jersey Legislature was passed, which divided North Plainfield Township from the Township of Warren. This new township included the towns of North Plainfield, Watchung and Green Brook. The boundaries of this newtownship were set up in the Act, known as Assembly No. 113. North Plainfield was set off from the Township in the year 1885, Watchung in the year 1926, and Green Brook in 1932.
North Plainfield Police Department
With the birth of the Borough came the birth of a Police Department. In the beginning the department boasted a force of one. At that time the peace officer was known as Marshall. The first Marshall was Peter B. Weaver. In addition to enforcing the law, the Marshall lit the gas street lamps every night. Prisoners were kept in a wooden jail located on Lincoln Place.
At one time police headquarters, with a
court room and jail, were located in the Warren Engine Co. Fire
Department at 223 Somerset Street. By 1916 the department moved to a
building on the site of the Municipal Rotunda. In 1937 the department
moved to its present quarters.
As the Borough grew the department expanded and modernized. By 1929 the force had no patrol cars or police radio. They used four motorcycles for the patrolmen who could drive. Those who could not drive used two bicycles. Early records reveal bicycle patrolmen were able to catch and ticket speeders driving automobiles.
A teletype machine was installed in 1954 allowing the department to receive police alarms. To send alarms, the department had to contact Morristown State Police. The same year the department purchased a radar speed timer. The purpose of radar is to eliminate the risks of chasing a speeder in a police car.
During the second term of Mayor Newton B. Smalley, Marshall George Weiss was appointed Police Chief. The residents of the Borough can be proud of the progress made by the Police Department in the past one hundred years. From a one man force to todays modern efficient law enforcement agency. The Force has grown to 48 sworn Officers with the assistance of 4 civilian dispatchers and 4 civilian employees.
1997: North Plainfield police fully computerize the department. This was a large undertaking to include in car of mobile computers. All reports are now scanned into the system thus allowing easy access to all reports for all bureaus of the department.
1998: North Plainfield police put a School Resource Officer in the schools. We formed a partnership with the schools and the youth we serve.
1999: Continuing our efforts to maintain our transparency and gain public trust the North Plainfield Police installed Mobile Video Recording MVR cameras in the patrol cars.
June 21, 2004: North Plainfield Police Chief William Parenti announced the hiring of the Boroughs first Female Police Officer. Sabrina L. Romasz age 24 of Franklin Township was sworn in at the Borough Council Meeting last evening.
January 2005: To provide enhances medical services to our residents the North Plainfield Police put Automated External Defibrillators in patrol vehicles.
January 18, 2006: The North Plainfield Police Department now has a new tool to aid in the prosecution of drunk drivers. The Alcotest 7110 by Drager was put into use in North Plainfield on January 3rd of this year. This machine will replace the Breathalyzer machine throughout New Jersey and uses state of the art technology.
April 21, 2006: Groundbreaking for the New Municipal Complex. Pictured in photo from left; Fire Chief William Eaton, Court Clerk Mary Petraglia, Director of DPW Jim Rodino, Prosecutor Wayne Forrest, Police Chief William Parenti, Borough Clerk Gloria Pflueger, Business Administrator Dave Hollod and far right Councilman Michael Giordano Jr.
In July of 2006, the renovations and additions to the police department began. This was a very difficult process as the police department continued to operate as the work progressed around them. This required moving personnel to include dispatch several times.
December 14, 2006 : Chief William G. Parenti announced that on Thursday December 14, 2006 the North Plainfield Police Department became the first accredited police agency in Somerset County. After the hearing, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accreditation Commission voted unanimously to award the North Plainfield Police Department the coveted Accredited Agency status. Mayor Janice G. Allen said North Plainfield's motto is "A Proud Community" and today the community has another reason to feel that way. Chief Parenti thanked many people for making it possible for the Police Department to achieve accredited status. Especially all the employees of the Police Department for seeing the value and complying with the standards.
March 5, 2008: Police occupy the new addition. This required the police department to move all operations including dispatch into the smaller space. The move was supposed to be for a few months until the renovations to the existing police department were complete.
October 15, 2009: Chief Parenti Announced that the North Plainfield Police participated in First Statewide Medicine Disposal Day in the Nation. The event took place at Police Headquarters 263 Somerset Street, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, November 14, 2009. This initiative, open to all residents, was organized to encourage residents to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted and expired medicine. The project was such a success that it is now a permanent collection site 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
November 9th, 2009: Chief Parenti announced the police department has received reaccreditation. This further demonstrates the commitment of all our personnel to maintain this coveted status.
October, 2010: The police finally return to the full use of the building. Delays in the project stalled the project that was only supposed to last a few months.
May 9, 2013: Chief Parenti announces the police department was reaccredited for the second time. We are proud to continue to hold our police department to the highest standards as set by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accreditation program.