We're heading into the season of giving and hope with calls for coming together more important than ever.

With Defund the police movements trending in parts of the country and the amount of calls to peer support helplines for police officers in New Jersey on the rise, JCP&L and the FirstEnergy Foundation has stepped up to help police and thank them for keeping communities safe and protecting us from harm, from storm damage and bringing us to safety especially when we need them most.

The FirstEnergy Foundation has donated $65,000 to 13 Police Chiefs Associations across New Jersey in Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Warren counties they say is meant to help offset the cost of providing that extra protection for communities during storms, emergency response training and in purchasing much needed equipment.

"A police officer's fundamental duty is to protect and serve their community," Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L said in a statement. "These donations serve to highlight our appreciation to the police officers who work diligently to provide a safe environment by keeping residents far away from downed power lines and protecting our utility workers as they safely restore power following severe weather events."

Fakult cites the support by law enforcement during Tropical Storm Isaias which put thousands in the dark as something that was critical in helping keep communities safe and the responses running smoothly.

During and following the storm more than 8,000 line workers, including other FirstEnergy crews and mutual assistance from 17 states, helped restore power to JCP&L customers.

"The massive restoration effort was made possible in part by local police departments that helped enforce road closures and protect the community from electrical hazards resulting from downed wires, utility poles and large trees," Fakult said.

The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. and provides support to non-profit, tax-exempt health and human services agencies; educational organizations; cultural and arts programs and institutions; and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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