FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
September 18, 2020
Contact: Wells Winegar, Dep. Administrator
Phone: 908-725-6300 ext. 5000
Township Meets With Community Religious Leaders
Bridgewater, NJ – On Wednesday, September 16th, Mayor Matthew Moench and Police Chief Paul Payne, along with members of their staffs, met with various members of the Bridgewater religious community to open a dialogue with these diverse institutions.

“My intention was to have this meeting much earlier in my first term, but the pandemic certainly delayed it,” said Mayor Matthew Moench. “These religious leaders provide a pulse to the community and, as an elected official, it is critical for me to glean their insights and absorb their guidance on matters within their delegations and the Township at-large. I hope to continue this dialogue on a regular basis during my term in office and I thank them for their willingness to do the same.”

“As the new Chief of Police in Bridgewater, it is important that there is open and clear lines of communication between the Police Department and houses of worship,” said Police Chief Paul Payne. “I also wanted to introduce them to the Police Chaplain Program which could help to further tie our entities together.”

The Mayor and Chief Payne will continue to meet with religious leaders in the community on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual interest. 

The Chief will also be implementing the formal Police Chaplain Program which according to their website (, “… creates a partnership with various faith-based leaders of a community to respond and assist police and other law enforcement agencies providing an overall better quality to the citizens of cities and communities. The goal is that by having the Police and Clergy working together during times of crisis or incidents, that a more comprehensive response will be given to those in need. The faith-based leaders will perform tasks of a more emotional, social or spiritual nature while the officers handles those tasks that are of a law enforcement nature.”  The Police Department will assist in covering the cost for religious leaders who hope to extend their ministry to the police department and the community at large. 
The group was also able to hear from members of the Police Department Command staff, the Police Chaplain and the Township’s Director of Constituent Relations.