Nutley police Lt. Mike Padilla was recognized at the Dec. 20 Board of Commissioners meeting, where he was acknowledged for his years of dedication in helping to steer today’s youth away from the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
The 30-plus year township resident — who has been with the Nutley Police Department since 2001 — was recently recognized as the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s (GCADA) Volunteer of the Year. In celebration of this honor, the township presented Padilla with a proclamation for his “selfless actions” and “efforts to help guide our youth toward better decision making and choices.”
“It’s great to be recognized,” Padilla said, adding the recognition came by surprise. “There are a lot of people in our town and on the municipal alliance committee who put so much into what we do. Without them, there would be no way my name would have been put in for this award. A lot of involvement goes into making things happen. It’s not just the work of one person.”
As a member of the Nutley Municipal Alliance Committee, Padilla has planned many events and programs to educate and empower students. Through his work with the police department, Padilla has run the township’s Juvenile Bureau, mentoring hundreds of young students and young adults leading them toward responsible and productive lives.
He was successful in bringing the Recovery Van to the township, which allows residents with drug/alcohol concerns to seek immediate help. Padilla also established the Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) program, oversees the Nutley Junior Police Academy, Police at Lunch (PALS) and Partnership for Children in Essex, all programs that direct youth to positive decision-making.
“From the start of his tenure working for Nutley Township,” Nutley Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said, “Mike has never let us down. Nutley’s most important people are our kids, and Mike has stepped up his entire career to serve them and our youth in need. Everything he does is from the heart. I can’t say I have ever met a better person.”
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.