As a neighboring community, Merchantville appreciates the residents of Camden, Chief Joseph Wysocki, the Camden Police Department for the leadership they demonstrated by marching peacefully in solidarity to protest the killing of George Floyd this past Saturday. Since Camden’s police force disbanded and reformed in 2013 as a county agency, officers there have been hyper-focused on community policing. You will often see them walking beats or attending neighborhood block parties grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs. “We know that together we are stronger, we know that together, in the city of Camden, we can create a space where policing is focused on deescalation and dialogue,” Wysocki said. May 30th's peaceful protest and march in Camden was another example of their ongoing community engagement, and the very real dialogue that they are having with residents throughout Camden.
March 13, 2020 - The pandemic of coronavirus is causing disruption to the lives of people throughout the world and Merchantville is no different. I want to assure the residents of Merchantville that throughout this pandemic, the Borough is committed to and has put into place certain contingencies to ensure the continued provision of essential services to the community including police, fire and other first responders, along with public works and other essential services. We are working with our partners at the County, State and Federal levels on contingency planning to obtain resources and to implement effective planning. Residents should rest assured that those services will continue, and residents can expect the same exceptional service and response from those essential services during this unprecedented time. Residents are also reminded that our community is built upon our relationships and now is a time to show courage and calm, avoid panic and care for ourselves and our neighbors by taking measured actions such as social distancing.
In the interest of public safety and to do our part to assist in the control of this dangerous virus, both in and outside our community, effective immediately the Borough is enacting the following measures:
• All Borough Commissions, Committees, Agencies and clubs will hold public meetings via telephone and video conference only until further notice. Interested members of the public will be provided opportunity to participate via telephone or video conference and will have the same access currently afforded by the respective commissions, committees and agencies. This restriction does not apply to Borough Council which will continue to operate through its normal process until further notice is provided but will offer streaming of all Borough Council meetings.
• The Borough is encouraging all residents, businesses and visitors to conduct business with the Borough digitally through our website (www.merchantvillenj.gov), e-mail or through the telephone. Borough employees will have access to e-mail and Borough servers throughout this period of disruption regardless of where they are sitting. Further, the Borough will be focusing efforts to enhance the available information on the Borough website to make the Borough more accessible in a digital manner.
• All Borough public events scheduled through April 12, 2020 are cancelled including the annual Easter Egg Hunt – April 5th • Merchantville Borough Municipal Court is cancelling previously scheduled court sessions for March 25, 2020 and April 1, 2020. Individuals who were scheduled for those dates will be provided new court dates through the regular process.
• Businesses, residents and other applicants to our Boards, Construction Offices, Code Enforcement and Zoning Offices will receive a 14-day extension on any and all deadlines, expiration dates and abatement periods that fall between March 13th and April 3rd 2020. Trash along with brush and debris pickup will remain as scheduled. Borough communication will continue to occur through official social media channels, the Borough website and through our emergency Reverse 911 system when necessary.