North Bergen student Joel Lima was honored by the Board of Education after he gave his friend a bicycle he won in a raffle.
North Bergen student Joel Lima was honored by the Board of Education after he gave his friend a bicycle he won in a raffle.

Nice guys don’t always finish last

At the most recent North Bergen Board of Education meeting, 11-year-old Robert Fulton School student Joel Lima was awarded a new laptop for an act of kindness. During the L.E.A.D. Day celebration held by officer Joe Sitty, Lima won a bicycle in a raffle, but chose to give it to his friend and classmate Bradley Guzman as a gift, since Guzman didn’t own a bicycle at the time.

“It’s important to reward these acts of kindness by students, so they are aware they haven’t gone unnoticed,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter said. “Positive reinforcement is something we strive for in the North Bergen education system, and it is wonderful to see the inspiring results of these practices.”

“Seeing these acts of kindness is what it is all about,” retired North Bergen police officer Joe Sitty said. “We go big or go home,” he said, before presenting Joel with a new laptop and certificate.

L.E.A.D., short for Law Enforcement Against Drugs, a program designed to educate students on the dangers of drug use and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, is run by the Board of Education and the North Bergen Police Department.

Lima said he plans on putting his new computer to good use, as a tool for both homework and video games.

Retiring NBPD Lieutenant Thomas Ferrari honored

A large crowd of current and former police officers, township workers, friends, and family lined up outside police headquarters in North Bergen for the traditional final “walkout,” this time for retired Lieutenant Thomas Ferrari.

Uniformed officers formed a line along one side of the driveway, facing an honor guard. Chief Robert Dowd gave a speech expressing thanks for Ferrari’s many years of service, after Ferrari spoke highly of the department he worked with.

Ferrari started his career as a Hudson County Sheriff’s Officer in 1994, graduating from the Morris County Police Academy that same year. He joined the Hudson County Police Department in 1995, receiving an Excellent Duty Award related to an April 1996 incident.

Ferrari then spent a month as an NJ Transit police officer in 1997, before joining the ranks of the NBPD. He served as a patrol officer in the Community Policing Unit and Patrol Division and earned several departmental awards. He was promoted to sergeant in 2008, and served as a patrol squad supervisor. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2012, serving as a patrol squad commander until he was assigned to the Administrative Division in 2016.

Ferrari also served as the department’s liaison with Special Olympics New Jersey and was instrumental in the fundraising efforts for that organization. He is known as the department’s unofficial historian.

Taking a summer vacation?

The North Bergen Police Department announced that it will conduct vacant home checks for residents in North Bergen while they are on vacation or taking trips of any kind. Officers will stop by daily to check for open doors, broken windows, or other suspicious activity.

If anything is found to be out of place, officers will notify residents, or the residents’ emergency contacts, immediately. To fill out an application for vacant home checks, visit NBPD Headquarters at 4233 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

SCOTUS says no on citizenship question in 2020 Census

The United States Supreme Court has ruled against adding a question pertaining to citizenship status on the 2020 Census. Earlier this year, Senators Corey Booker, Bob Menendez, and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation that attempted to prohibit introducing a question regarding one’s citizenship to the Census.

The senators argued that the citizenship question had political motivations which targeted immigrant and minority communities, and was an attempt to suppress their participation in the census.

“Our Constitution requires an accurate count of all persons living in the United States, period,” Booker, Menendez, and Hirono said in a joint statement. “Allowing a politically-motivated question explicitly designed to rig the count would have lasting and devastating effects for states like New Jersey and Hawaii, as we rely on the Census to determine representation in Congress and the allocation of federal funding for public health and safety, education, and other services our residents and communities depend upon.”

In Hudson County’s sanctuary cities, this has been a pertinent topic. In Union City, for example, local officials are pushing for census participation, because they believe the city’s population is heavily underrepresented due to its population of undocumented residents avoiding participation in the survey.

Regardless of whether the immigration question was asked, officials advocated for Union City’s full-fledged Census participation. Census survey results cannot legally be used by any government entity other than the U.S. Census Bureau.