A shiny, decal-laden, new Jeep is now patrolling the streets of Lakewood as part of the township’s Civilian Safety Watch.

(Ilya Hemlin Townsquare Media NJ)

The 2011 Jeep Patriot came was funded by a matching grant from the township’s Urban Enterprise Zone, which funded around 80% of the SUV’s cost. Private donations contributed the rest notes Abe Muller- chairman of the Lakewood Development Corporation.

Residents, law enforcements, township officials, and LCSW volunteers all attended Friday afternoon’s unveiling in the municipal square.

The organization is comprised of volunteers who patrol the township, acting as liaisons between the community and the police department.

“Just by having the vehicles on the streets, it prevents crime because people see a visible safety watch.” Says Muller “In addition if they see anything suspicious they will alert the police department.”

When residents have a concern that they aren’t sure whether it warrants a call to the police, Muller says the LCSW is often who they call. From there, the group decides whether it warrants police intervention.

(Ilya Hemlin Townsquare Media NJ)

Additionally the LCSW assists the police by acting as a language and cultural bridge between the townships large Jewish and Hispanic population, many of whom might not speak English fluently.