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Friday, October 02, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin: Enemy of Westfield....Police Chief Bolsters Arsenal

     Hurricane Joaquin appears to be tracking further east into the Atlantic than predicted less than 24 hours ago. The Category 4 storm is hovering over the Bahamas with sustained winds of 130 mph.  The storm is expected to track northward today and hurricane force winds will continue.  However, those winds are predicted to remain far enough offshore and should have less of an impact on New Jersey and here in Westfield as previously forecasted.
     Despite what appears to be less of an impact by the storm, on Westfield, town officials are preparing for a direct hit.  In fact, they've been preparing for 3 years ever since Super Storm Sandy left parts of town without power for more than a week.
     Westfield Police Chief David Wayman has been assembling a motor pool of military vehicles that could defend some small countries from not only a natural disaster, but from a military attack.
     In the event Westfield is the victim of a tidal surge never seen before by the town, Chief Wayman has two military assault boats that have been sitting idle at the Westfield Armory on Rahway Ave. for over a year. These boats were obtained through the Department of Defense's 1033 program, which Congress passed in 1997.  Initially, the program was aimed to give surplus military equipment for police use in counter-narcotic and counter-terrorism situations.  So, if El Chapo or Al Queda infiltrates Westfield's town borders, Chief Wayman has us protected.
     Although the police department didn't pay for the equipment and vehicles obtained through the government program including a crane, bulldozer, humvees, and troop transport carriers, tax payers do foot the bill for the shipment of the vehicles to Westfield and the storage and maintenance costs.  These costs have burdened the Westfield taxpayer with thousands of dollars each time a delivery is made.  Mayor Skibitsky and Westfield Town Council members have approved of these costly acquisitions.
     So, should a
tidal surge of epic proportions require a search and rescue mission by Chief Wayman and his department on the waters of Mindowaskin Pond, Tamaques Pond, Brightwood Pond, and/or Gregory's Pond, be rest assured that the military assault boats which appear to be propelled by 50-75 horsepower engines will no doubt complete a successful mission.
     Then again, you never know whether or not Hoboken will send out a distress call for our help..  Hoboken, the city that Councilman Arena has claimed Westfield has a shared services agreement with.
     A search of public records revealed no such agreement and handshakes with Hoboken's parking director John Morgan (former Westfield parking director) are not recognized as an official shared services agreement.



  1. This military stuff has no chance of ever being used. It is crazy that the Town Council gives the green light to acquire this stuff. Also shameful to have spent so much on the Command Center. Big waste of town money. When Sandy hit, communications were only minimally affected. The town needed tree cutting, road clearing and power line repair. Basements needed to be pumped. This colossal, ego trip of a Command Center does none of those things. A new backup generator for Headquarters would have been a much more reasonable expenditure.

    1. Police headquarters and/or the municipal building were well equipped to handle a power outage during Sandy.
      Mayor Skibitsky's use of the word "redundancy" which is now being uttered by the new DPW superintendent, is an excuse for the wasteful spending on an emergency mobile command center that has seen more use beyond Westfield's borders for everything from street fairs to emergency communications backup. Westfield taxpayers are footing the bill for the mayor and his cronies to play "world police."

  2. Are the troop transport and crane available for use at block parties? The kids would love being driven around the block. The inverted boats could be used as a bouncy rides.