The Wyckoff Police Department's efforts to promote community traffic safety earned the township the American Automobile Association's Award of Excellence for the sixth straight year.
The township was previously notified that it would be honored but did not know which award it would receive until AAA's annual Community Traffic Safety Award ceremony, held Oct. 15. The Award of Excellence is AAA's highest designation.
“It’s definitely a town interested in pedestrian safety, and they are doing a great job,” said William Visser, manager of public aid and government services for AAA.
Chief Benjamin Fox and other members of the department were present at Tuesday's Township Committee meeting to present a plaque to the governing body. Fox used the opportunity to emphasize the efforts of the entire department.
"It's more about the individual officers of the Police Department," he said. "It's something we're really proud of."
Wyckoff was one of only 28 municipalities in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties to receive the honor.
Each year, AAA sends out applications to local communities to fill out with information about pedestrian safety programs, as well as information about automobile accidents, injuries and fatalities. Wyckoff has not had a pedestrian fatality since 2002.
Fox said the department's initiatives include: safety talks with kids and seniors; demonstrations by bicycle safety officers; child safety seat inspections; monitoring traffic patterns around the schools; letters to parents about traffic regulations; adjustments to school crosswalks; DWI patrols; training crossing guards; and the Safety Town program, among other measures, which involves a course where youngsters ride on tricycles and learn the rules of the road.
Recently, the department took part in "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day," where traffic enforcement was increased on Oct. 10 and data was sent to the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
Fox acknowledged the efforts of several members of the department Tuesday night. He thanked Lt. Charles Van Dyk for his work overseeing the department's traffic bureau while recognizing Patrolman Brian Zivkovich's work within the bureau. Sgt. Robert McKay was introduced as the department's "tech guy" who handles the traffic trailers and sign boards, one of which is currently stationed on Monroe Avenue. The data culled from the signs can be used by the department to pinpoint where the township has speeding problems. Finally, Detective Michael Musto was hailed for his work with the township's crossing guards and parents in his role as a child safety seat instructor.
“Our job is to make it as safe as it possibly can be... we’ll continue to do our best each and every year,” Fox said previously.