Back to School Safety Reminder

As summer vacations come to an end and students return to school throughout the county, Acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan would like to remind residents to take extra care when driving as the roads become busier.

Drivers will again be sharing the streets with school buses and children walking and bicycling to and from school.

“Driving safely requires a person’s constant attention to the road and to everyone and everything outside of the car,” Acting Sheriff Cryan said. “A lack of attention or a distraction could be deadly.”

School buses will again be part of the morning commute and on the streets each afternoon. It is important to obey the law for the safety of children when buses are picking up or dropping off students.

School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm are signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus. Traffic in both directions is required to stop when the red lights are flashing on the bus.

Also, drivers should never pass a school bus. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.

Children are unpredictable and often take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.

“Drivers need to be alert at all times. Don’t talk on a cell phone while driving and, more importantly, never text while behind the wheel,” the Acting Sheriff said. “Red lights are not a time to check emails or texts. A distracted driver can lead to accidents at any time, even coming out of a stop.”

Parents of teenagers who drive to school need to reinforce the rules of the road with the young drivers, especially about never texting while driving. They should set a good example with their own good driving habits. Teens learn to drive by watching their parents.

Texting while driving is not the only hazard when it comes to digital devices. Distracted walking can also be dangerous. Students should not text and walk, especially when crossing or walking in the street. Parents with children who walk to school need to remind their kids about the basics of pedestrian safety.

“If everyone, drivers and students, keep aware of their surroundings and pay attention, the new school year can be a safer one,” Acting Sheriff Cryan added.

For more back-to-school safety information, visit the National Safety Council website


Union County Undersheriff Detrolio Retires

Acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan (R) thanks Undersheriff Vincent Detrolio for his 36 years of dedicated service to the County of Union and wishes him well on his retirement. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)


Celebrate National Senior Citizens Day on August 21

As we continue to enjoy the days of summer busy with vacations and visits to the beach, thoughts are already turning to the kids going back to school and Labor Day.

But there is another important holiday this month we need to remember and celebrate.

August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day when we honor the achievements and accomplishments of older Americans everywhere.

There are more than 40 million senior citizens living in the United States today, and that number continues to grow. People are living longer than ever before and many senior citizens are proving that it isn’t about the years in your life but the life in your years.

President Ronald Reagan created National Senior Citizens Day in 1988 when he put forth a proclamation recognizing the establishment of a new national holiday. It is now celebrated with special events at senior and community centers across the country

We should all something do something special on the day. Giving back to our parents, grandparents and older neighbors is so important. We would not be here without the foundation they built for us and we should let them know they are appreciated.

There are many simple yet valuable ways to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day. Pick up the phone and call an older friend or loved one just to say hello. Pay a visit to your local veterans or senior citizens center. If you able, volunteer at a local nursing home.

Also, encourage your children and their friends to get involved and mark the day with a visit to the grandparents or an older neighbor.

Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the long-term contribution and dedication of older people, and to ensure that we’re doing our best to give something back to older people.

The wellbeing and happiness of our senior citizens should be a priority and that’s why National Senior Citizens Day is so important.

Let’s us take the time to celebrate the older Americans in our lives. We wouldn’t be where were are today without them.

Joseph Cryan is the Acting Union County Sheriff.


Freeholder Board Honor Union County Undersheriff Vincent Detrolio

Union County Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak and the entire Freeholder Board present Union County Undersheriff Vincent Detrolio with a resolution thanking him for his 36 years of dedicated service to the County of Union and wish him well on his retirement


Union County Sheriff’s Officers Arrest Man Wanted in Stabbing

Members of the Union County Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit have apprehended a man wanted for allegedly stabbing a Union resident, acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan announced today.

A few days before Christmas last year the suspect, Todgie Smith, was reportedly playing cards with the victim in his Ohio Street residence when the men began fighting over the game. During the altercation Smith grabbed a 6-inch kitchen knife and stabbed the victim several times before fleeing, according the police report made at the time.

The victim survived the wounds.

Smith, 34, who was allegedly homeless before living with the victim for several months, had been on the run ever since. He was wanted on charges of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of weapons and possession of weapons for unlawful purpose.

Officers from the Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit recently tracked Smith to an address in Irvington where he was located and taken in custody without incident yesterday. He was transported to the Union County Jail.

“These officers did an outstanding job of finding and capturing a dangerous man and getting him off the street,” acting Sheriff Cryan said.