The Fort Lee Board of Education late last week cancelled its regular business meeting originally scheduled for Monday evening, but those who were planning to attend may want to consider heading over to Monument Park instead.
There, organizers say, a candlelight vigil is planned for the victims, families and community members of Newtown, Conn., where the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history occurred Friday, resulting in the deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The Fort Lee vigil is planned as a “gathering to give and receive comfort in light of the Newtown shooting,” providing residents of all faiths—or none, organizers emphasize—an opportunity to “share with neighbors,” pray or simply be silent.
It may also include “scripture common to Jews and Christians, time for people to talk with each other about what is most fearful and comforting [and] some way for people here to write something to people in Newtown,” according to Rev. Allison Moore of Fort Lee’s Church of the Good Shepherd.
The candlelight vigil takes place Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in Monument Park on Palisade Avenue, but people who want to help lead the vigil are asked to arrive at the park by 6:30 p.m.
Also this week, The Fort Lee Mayor and Council will swear in a new police chief and deputy police chief at the governing body’s regular meeting Thursday
With Thomas O. Ripoli, the Fort Lee Police Chief since 2004, reaching the mandatory retirement age, officials appointed Capt. Keith Bendul Chief and Capt. Timothy Ford Deputy Chief of the Fort Lee Police Department.
Although Bendul and Ford will be sworn in this week, they won’t take over their new duties until January.
“It legally becomes effective Jan. 1; [we] don’t take the rank until then,” Bendul told Patch recently. “The Chief and I are transitioning, along with Capt. Ford, for the next administration so it’s really been a good time to transition. This way we have continuity of excellence here.”
The swearing in ceremony, which will be followed by the Mayor and Council’s regular meeting, starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 and takes place in Borough Hall’s Council Chambers.