Donations Needed For “Operation Blue Angel”

Jackson Township Police Chief Kunz with new Sergeants P.O. Larry Logan, P.O. Arthur Salisbury and Det. Mitch Cowit. (Photo courtesy Jackson Township Police Department)

JACKSON – Township residents ages 60 and older may qualify to be part of the police department’s new Operation Blue Angel program.

The program allows police and other emergency personnel to quickly access the homes of residents who are unable to answer their door without the need to damage property to force entry.

Participating residents will receive a lockbox – much like the ones used by real estate agents – that will hold a house key. The lockbox code will be accessible only to Jackson Township Police telecommunications officers, who will provide the code to emergency personnel dispatched to homes.

Not even residents will have access to the lockbox code.

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Bob Lesnick, who was instrumental in bringing the program to Jackson, said he and the police department are hoping local businesses and residents will donate to the program to offset costs. The department is investing in Masterlock boxes, which are sturdy enough to withstand vandalism and other extremes.

Anyone who wants to donate can send a check, with the memo line reading “Operation Blue Angel,” to Jackson Township Police Department, Special Services Division, 102 Jackson Drive, Jackson, NJ 08527.

“Jackson Hardware helped me find the ones I finally purchased from Masterlock. They will hold up to direct hammer blows and will still be working long into the future. Jackson Hardware also covered the extra cost of the locks so the town only paid $50 each,” Lt. John Convery said via email to Lesnick, which he then shared with Jersey Shore Online.

Residents who move or decide to drop out of the program may return the lockbox to the police department. That box will be reissued to another applicant.

“The Jackson Township Police Department is always looking for new and better ways to serve our community. With the assistance of Westlake residents Robert Lesnick and Barry Edelstien, Operation Blue Angel was identified as a program that could greatly enhance the police department’s ability to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The Jackson Police Department has sponsored the first purchase of fifty lock boxes to launch the program. County Line Hardware was also a great help in identifying and obtaining professional grade lock boxes that will give the police department years of service,” Convery said.

Township residents ages 60 and older, who live alone or have incapacitating medical conditions, may be eligible to apply. They must complete a brief application and sign a liability release.

To apply, or for more information, contact Convery at jconvery@jacksontwpnj.net or 732-833-3015.