Discipline, fitness and wise decision-making were the skills 92 kids focused on during the third annual regional Junior Police Academy conducted by three North Jersey towns. With an emphasis on avoiding dangerous people and harmful situations, local cops from Hillsdale, Washington Township and Westwood presented valuable personal-safety demonstrations over the four-day course at Westwood Regional Junior/Senior High School in Washington Township.
They had help during the guest lectures and field trips from:
- Bergenfield, Englewood and Paramus police, who did motorcycle demonstrations;
- Washington Township’s Fire Department and Ambulance Corps;
- Members of the Atlantic Air-One Medical Helicopter crew;
- The New Jersey National Guard RAID Helicopter;
- U.S. Secret Service;
- U.S. Customs & Border Protection;
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Hillsdale Police Chief Chip Stalter thanked those involved, as well as his counterparts in Westwood (Chief Frank Regino) and Washington Township (Officer-in-Charge Capt. Randy Ciocco) for helping teach the youngsters positive life choices.
Without incurring any overtime costs, he said, each police department assigned one or more personnel to deliver the program, including: Westwood Officers Matt McClutchy and Niko Pieratos, Special Officer Billy Can, and Reserve Officer Joseph Latino; Washington Township Lt. Richard Skinner, Officer Heather Castronova, and Corporals Tom Lawton and Mike Glock; and Hillsdale Police Officer Bill Diedtrich.
The chief also cited Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Hillsdale’s superintendent of schools, for once again collaborating on the project.
“Through continued cooperation and the volunteerism of local police officers, programs such as this one thrive,” Stalter said.
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