Lakewood Shomrim/Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch (LCSW) is shouldering a heavy portion of the emergency response needed in its area of the state during the current COVID-19 crisis, with hundreds of hours of extra LCSW patrols of the streets over Pesach to deal with the situation. Special trainings and extra medical equipment were given out and utilized by the unique Lakewood Shomrim/LCSW Shabbos Team. All this, together with special activation requests by the Lakewood Police, produced non-stop activity over the past few weeks.
Aside from their regular mission of preventing criminal activity, LCSW members deliberately combed the town in full PPE gear seeking out those in need of their assistance while pulling extra-long shifts. Over 1,000 local families benefitted from a member visiting their home during the week of Pesach to help with urgent matters. Requests included medical transports to and from hospitals, delivering medications, alerting family members, assisting with medical technology and devices, and communicating with nursing and long-term care facilities and their administrators. Compounding the challenge was the need for pausing patrols frequently to sanitize equipment and vehicles.
On the second night of Yom Tov, when a storm caused widespread power outages and an immediate danger to many corona patients on oxygen at home, continuous LCSW rounds during the night helped maintain the vital life-preserving services. “I wanted to say thank you all again,” wrote Lakewood Chief of Police Gregory Meyer, “as you continue to overcome difficult situations and work as a team getting us through these difficult times safely.”
The Lakewood Office of Emergency Management relied on the assistance of LCSW to help with quarantine shelter for those without a place to stay. Shopping for food and other basic necessities was done by the Team for many families and individuals from all communities who were unable to get out. In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, gloves and masks were distributed to those unable to procure them.
During Chol Hamoed, LCSW members took to the streets with music atop a float, bringing a much-needed break and smiles to the faces of so many waving from their windows and porches.
Local hospitals appreciated the many “thank you to the health-care heroes” visits with banners and donations of food that were made to their facilities. Dr. Frank Vozos, executive vice president of Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus said, “Thank you for overwhelming support of sirens, signs, smiles and bringing lunch to our team. Thank you for safeguarding the health and wellbeing of those in our care, and those caring for them.”