The Rotary Club of the Caldwells presented the Service Above Self Award to the West Caldwell Police Department Tuesday during the club's weekly lunch meeting at the Cloverleaf Tavern.
The police department was recognized for collecting and delivering more than nine truckloads of relief items to survivors of Superstorm Sandy in South Jersey in November.
In the days after the historic storm devasted coastal regions of the state, West Caldwell Police officers converted a vacant storefront into a drop-off center for donations. For more than a week, employees of the department volunteered their time unloading cars, sorting donations, packing boxes and filling pallets.
This is the 17th year the Rotary presents the award for service in the community, and the first time it goes to a group rather than an individual, according to Rotarian Sam Kent.
Kent said the address of the empty commercial space on Bloomfield Avenue was appropriately "911."
West Caldwell Police Det. Paul Mazzeo, who spearheaded the project along with Det. Sgt. Shaun O'Dowd, thanked the Rotary for the honor and said the police department could not have acted alone.
"It was [possible] with the great help of the community and a lot of the businesses," he said.
The Rotary Club of the Caldwells celebrated 60 years in the community in 2011.