The Ridgefield Park Police Department’s Community Policing Unit is currently led by Det. Sgt. Tress. The Community Policing Unit has been in operation since 1996. The Community Policing Unit handles programs, demonstrations, classes, lectures and anything else involving community concerns and problems on subjects from terrorism to babysitting. The main goal of the Ridgefield Park Police Department Community Policing Unit is education.
In 2005, the Ridgefield Park Police Department conducted a COPCARD Program where students and children collected baseball type cards of all the officers. The cards included a photo of the officer and a biography of the officer on the back of the card. The program was a huge success with prizes and awards being given out at the conclusion of the program. The program afforded the students and children the opportunity to meet and interact with the officers on a one to one basis. We hope to implement the program again in the near future.
The Community Policing Unit was the pioneer of a Babysitting Class that is taught to sixth graders of all the elementary schools. Each year we go into the schools with the assistance of the Fire Department and Ambulance Corps to teach basic fundamentals in babysitting.
The Ridgefield Park Police Department is especially proud of our Fraud Awareness Program. This program educates the public about current scams, frauds, identity theft and internet crimes that are quickly becoming a large problem. This is one of the most difficult areas of crime to prevent. Every year hundreds of thousands of people are falling prey to this new wave of crime. Our Fraud Awareness Program helps educate the public about recent trends, types of scams and frauds that are currently being practiced. Our programs are usually designed for senior citizens, but recently these type crimes have shifted to include the younger generations as well. Each year the Park Police Department takes several hundred complaints of this nature. The more we get out into the community the better chance we have to prevent these type crimes. Crime Prevention is the best and most effective way to address this problem.
The Community Policing Unit also conducts various safety programs of different natures. These include home safety, business safety, school and travel safety. Another function of the Community Policing Unit is streetlight outage reporting. Periodically the Patrol Division reports streetlight outages to our unit, which are then reported directly to Public Service Electric for repair. Residents are also encouraged to report outages directly to the Police Department by calling the Dispatch Center with the pole number and location or emailing [email protected].
The Community Policing Unit participates in the bi-annual OPERATION TAKE BACK NEW JERSEY PROGRAM sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This program enables the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly. The old method of flushing the pills down the toilet has been found to be harmful to the environment and drinking water. The pills are also being abused by adolescents. Last year Ridgefield Park Police collected over 25 pounds of pills for disposal.
For additional information or to request a program contact Det. Sgt. Tress at (201) 641-6400 ext. 144 or [email protected]