The largest class ever to participate in North Bergen’s Junior Police Academy – 32 cadets in total – spent a week learning the ins and outs of fighting crime. The cadets, all entering 7th or 8th grade, went through a crash course in law enforcement, including everything from fingerprinting to polygraphs to processing a crime scene. Along the way they met and learned from representatives from the North Bergen P.D., the Port Authority P.D., the Hudson County Corrections Department and Sheriff’s Department. They even spent some time with the four-footed officers of the K9 division.
The Junior Police Academy is an intensive one-week course designed to operate like an actual police academy. The goal is to educate select North Bergen students in various police procedures and give them a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to succeed in the profession of law enforcement. This is the fifth year that North Bergen has held a one-week JPA class during the summer.
As part of their training the cadets attended a live fire demonstration at the North Bergen firing range and visited the Hudson County Correctional Center, the NBPD headquarters and evidence locker, the municipal court, the 9/11 memorial in New York, and more. Plus they underwent exhausting “boot camp” physical training and drills, and learned defensive tactics.
The week ended with a celebratory day at the municipal pool, where the cadets were congratulated by Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Commissioners Julio Marenco and Hugo Cabrera, and Freeholder Anthony Vainieri. “Officer Joe” Sitty has coordinated and overseen the JPA since 2013, when Police Chief Robert Dowd instituted the program in North Bergen. Student mentors for this year’s class were Samantha Venagas and Noor Attalah from NBHS, Isabella Shibli from High Tech High, and Joseph Gagliardi from County Prep.