Editor’s note —This is the third in a series of commentaries explaining the services and community programs of the Trumbull Police Department.

The Trumbull Police Department is an active member of the Center for Family Justice. The Center serves Trumbull and other nearby communities providing counseling for those victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Services include, legal assistance with court procedures, sheltering, therapy and calming exercise programs.

As a member of this organization the Trumbull Police Department was a sponsor of the Festival for Hope at the Trumbull Westfield Shopping Plaza. The Festival for Hope promoted the Center’s services, including their wellness program.

In addition to being a member of The Center for Family Justice I am also a member of The White Ribbon Campaign, which was founded by men 17 years ago. White Ribbon Day is held November 25 each year. It is also known as the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women and Girls. Stand up Speak out. End the cycle of violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and the Town of Trumbull hosts a domestic violence vigil where members of the Center for Family Justice speak. Many times a victim of violence has spoken at the vigil, explaining their personal struggle and how the Center has helped them through difficulties. Trumbull Police officers are a big part of the night.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the Trumbull Police Department, along with other first responders, helped children celebrate their birthdays with drive-by parades. It was a difficult time for all and we were happy to provide some excitement for the birthday boys and girls and their families.

This past year the first ever Juvenile Review Board, (JRB) was established in Trumbull. A JRB is a diversion program for juveniles who commit non-violent minor offenses. Instead of being referred to Juvenile Court for punishment an officer now has the option of referring someone to the JRB. The JRB is made up of professionals from the Mary J. Sherlach Counseling Center, Youth Services Bureau, schools and a police officer. The panel also consists of adults that live or work in Trumbull and have an interest in helping people.

The Trumbull Police Department is fortunate to have a police substation at the Westfield shopping mall. More than eight million people visit the mall annually. We have been able to work with victims, suspects and complainants without having to relocate them to the Trumbull Police Department for investigation. It saves time, is efficient and productive. We are beginning our fifth year at the current location and are happy to be there.

In addition to the substation, I am happy to report that the department received a grant recently from the U.S. Justice Department’s COPS Office to fund an additional officer. The grant gives the town $125,000 over a three year period to pay for the officer. This will allow us to assign an officer strictly to the Westfield mall on a full-time basis. We are very excited about this first ever venture and look forward to an even greater presence at Westfield.