North Bergen students recently participated in this summer’s Junior Police Academy, designed to operate like an actual police academy for kids interested in law enforcement. The program runs from July 11 to July 18.
The Junior Police Academy was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. However, it made an official return this year in 2022.
A total of 49 children signed up for the program, the most in its history according to the township. This year’s schedule for the week was jam-packed with activities for the cadets, from physical activities, to informational sessions, and lots of hands-on fun.
The week began on Monday, July 11, with a day of physical training. Chief Peter Fasilis also taught cadets the history of policing.
After that, cadets were treated to a tour of the Police Department headquarters, where they learned about the day-to-day operations of the force.
They also viewed the Property and Evidence Room, the Bureau of Criminal Identification, the Detective Bureau, the jail holding cells. They also visited the municipal court where they received information from the municipal judge about court operations.
On the second day, the cadets began with more physical training. Then they spent time at the North Bergen Pistol Range, where they were given a demonstration of a police drone.
They also received tours of the various armored vehicles including: Rescue 1, Rescue 2 and Mobile Command. In addition, the cadets saw a live demonstration of gunfire on the pistol range, and learned about firearm safety.
Members of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Department also taught the cadets about firefighting equipment and the trucks used by the Department. There was demonstration of putting out a fire from a car accident, which also included the use of the Jaws of Life by the NHRFR.
On day three of the Junior Police Academy, the Cadets received a visit from Hackensack University Medical Center AirMed1, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Department and North Bergen EMS. The cadets watched the helicopter land on 64th Street Field and given a tour of the chopper.
Additionally, the North Bergen Police Motor Unit, and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit also gave demonstrations to impressionable youths on “Drug Identification” and “Crime Evidence Collection.”
Later in the week, the cadets even took trips out of state. The first was to the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower in New York City. The second trip took the cadets to Washington D.C. to visit the National Law Enforcement Museum and other attractions.
The six-day academy also includes overviews of fingerprinting, polygraphs, crime scene processing, defensive tactics, plus physical exercise and training, and much more. It ends Monday, July 18 with a day of swimming and sports games for the cadets at North Bergen’s Pool Complex.
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