Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters

After suffering postponements and cancellations due to the nor'easter of 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, kids throughout Bergen County will finally be able to enjoy trick-or-treating on Halloween this year.

While many parents want to make sure their children have fun this holiday, it is also important to make sure we are keeping our kids safe this October 31. While we may not be facing downed live wires, power outages or fallen trees, there still exist conditions that could put our kids' safety at risk.

The Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some great tips for trick-or-treaters, which you can find below and on the department's website.

S - Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
A - Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F - Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E - Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
H - Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you and others see. Always walk - don't run.
A - Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime.
L - Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
L - Lower your risk for eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O - Only walk on sidewalks when possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
W - Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
E -  Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Don't eat homemade treats from strangers.
E - Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit homes.
N - Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

More safety tips can also be found at Safe Kids Worldwide

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Det. Doheny attends Composite Sketch Artist training

Det. Kevin Doheny with some of his sketches.
From October 7 through October 11, Bergenfield Police Detective Kevin Doheny attended training in Composite Artist Facial ID Recognition, hosted by the Fort Lee Police Department.The training was conducted by
Stuart Parks Forensic Associates from Cataldo, Idaho.

Detective Doheny has been a forensic artist for the BPD since 2009. Since that time he has completed ten composite sketches for various criminal cases and has had four cases solved as a result of the sketches. One sketch solved a string of residential burglaries that was occurring in the borough. Through detective investigation and witness interviews, a sketch was developed of a possible female suspect. One early afternoon, while getting ready for his evening detective shift, Detective Doheny, who had taken his sketch home with him to work on, received a crime tip on a suspect in connection with the burglaries. That tip came from his wife who had looked at her husband's sketch work. She had just noticed a female walking along the street outside their home who resembled the sketch. Detective Doheny went to investigate further and followed the female who was then caught in the act of burglarizing a home just a few blocks away.

Other cases solved were a robbery case involving two suspects. The sketch drawn resulted in the identification of a suspect after a person saw the composite on a poster. One suspect was brought in for an interview. A friend came with him to the station. The "friend" also happened to match the second suspect drawing. After investigating both men, witnesses to the crime identified both suspects and they were each charged with robbery.

The success thus far of having a certified forensic artist has been worth the investment to continually train our detective in the art of forensic drawing. Most of the training was paid for with the use of available BPD Asset Forefeiture monies obtained and managed through the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office

Detective Doheny also attended a workshop on creating sketches of persons of various races, weights and facial features. In his third training session in October 2012, he was officially certified as a forensic artist. The training this month was specific towards learning to sketch based on using Facial ID Recognition. This is used in cases such as from surveillance videos or when a partial view of a face was the only thing obtained from a witness or crime victim. 

Special thanks to Chief Keith Bendul and Lt. Ken Porrino of the Fort Lee PD for hosting the training.

"This is my fourth class with Stuart Parks Forensic Associates," said Detective Doheny. "I didn't have any ability to draw until I went to these classes. Each class I have developed more and more to have the skill and the confidence to apply to my detective work and my sketches. I hope this helps in solving more crimes."

BPD Receives AAA North Jersey Award

Chief Carr, Mayor Carlos Aguasvivas, Capt. Madalone.
On October 23, 2013, AAA North Jersey presented to the Bergenfield Police Department, a AAA Special Recognition award, at a luncheon held at the Brownstone in Paterson NJ. The award gives recognition to communities with outstanding traffic safety program activities. The BPD received the recognition based on its very effective traffic safety education programs including Safety Town, AAA North Jersey's "Otto the Auto" pedestrian safety program, glow sticks for halloween trick or treators, and child seat safety inspections and installations.The goal of the safety programs is to educate the public in traffic safety to prevent injuries or fatalities. It is also a great way for the police to build on their community policing philosophy and improve police-community relationships.

The BPD Traffic Bureau is supervised by Lt. Jerry Stapleton and commanded by Capt. Cathy Madalone. The Traffic Bureau along with all the officers of the BPD, maintain vigorous traffic enforcement and education to the public. Their efforts to promote safety are aided by community partnerships in order to reach their goals that earned them this special recognition.

Thank you to AAA North Jersey for their partnership and support in these efforts.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Officers participate in Special Olympics Plane Pull

Michele Waiser, PO Rob Mader, Detective William Duran and PO Kyle Witty, from left.
Police officers must be quick on their feet in order to catch a fleeing criminal. They also receive physical training to give them the strength to subdue those lawbreakers. Most citizens probably think of police as only needing those skills to fulfill their duties, but there is much more to being a law enforcement officer than just speed and strength. Police officers are also recognized for their honor, respect, dedication and the commitment they make to serve others. It is these things and more that the members of Bergenfield PBA Local 309 officers stand for.
On October 5, 2013, Detective William Duran, Officer Kyle Witty, and Officer Robert Mader took on the challenge of doing something that put those abilities of strength and quickness, coupled with honor, dedication and commitment to serving others, to the test. These three members of Bergenfield PBA Local 309 participated in the challenge of pulling a 93,000-pound plane across an airport tarmac.

Duran, Witty, and Mader joined team captain, Michele Waiser, whose daughter is autistic, in the NJ Special Olympics plane pull at Newark International Airport. The funds raised from the event benefits the Special Olympic athletes who train and compete year-round throughout the state. The event was sponsored by the Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) and was hosted by United Airlines and The Port Authority of NY & NJ.

Thank you Michele for your inspiration in leading the Local 309 team members. We are there to support you and the SONJ.

For more information about this event, visit the Special Olympics New Jersey Plane Pull page.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Miller attends Gettysburg Leadership Experience

Sergeant Tom Miller, eighth from left, in the striped blue and white shirt, completes
the NJSACOP training program at Gettysburg.
Bergenfield Police Sergeant Tom Miller recently participated in a leadership training weekend hosted by the NJ State Association Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) at Gettysburg National Park. The training, titled the Gettysburg Leadership Experience: A Staff Ride for Law Enforcement Leaders, took place on September 27-29, 2013.

"The Leadership Staff Ride transforms the battlefield at Gettysburg into an outdoor classroom to educate modern law enforcement leaders. The issues of command and control, logistics, communication, strategic planning, tactics and leading in times of stress transcend time and place as issues important to leaders of law enforcement organizations." 

Sergeant Miller is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a first-line supervisor. His attendance at this training demonstrates the desired goal of the BPD to provide the best educated and trained leaders for their role in serving the Bergenfield community in public safety and law enforcement. Thanks also goes to the outstanding commitment by the NJSACOP towards providing training like this so we are able to accomplish our goal.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Additional day: Street paving resulting in road closures

Due to a mechanical issue with equipment on Friday, Oct. 11, the paving company will be completing the road work for Chestnut Street (NE Sector) and Quincy Lane (SW sector) on Monday, Oct. 14 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Both roads will be closed during that time.

Chestnut Street  Closed Monday, Oct. 14   8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Quincy Lane    Closed  Monday, Oct. 14 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Street paving resulting in road closures

The borough is paving Chestnut Street and Quincy Lane this week. 

Today, Thursday, October 10, there will be milling on Chestnut Street only. There will be a partial road closure with one lane open between Phelps Avenue and the Dumont line. Traffic will be allowed to flow north and south in one lane through 3 p.m. 

Tomorrow, Friday, October 11, Chestnut Street will be completely close between Phelps and Dumont line for paving. The closure will be in effect from late morning through 3 p.m. Paving on Quincy Lane will begin around 8 a.m. No traffic will be allowed. Detour signs will be posted by the contractor. Quincy Lane will be closed between Rector Court and Frederick Place.

Today, October 10, is Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day

Today, October 10, we observe the annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. According to a report released by the National Highway and Traffic Administration, there were approximately 33,000 traffic deaths in 2012 alone. When broken down, that 33,000 translates into 90 fatalities every single day - one death every 16 minutes.

The goal of this day is to raise awareness of the risks involved in unsafe driving behavior. It is also meant to encourage all drivers to strive for a full day without any traffic deaths.

All motorists can do things to help eliminate the unsafe driving behavior. First, it is vital that all distractions - such as talking on cell phones or texting - are eliminated. Motorists must drive defensively and always be attentive. One should never drive while drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Here are some safety tips from the US DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration campaign, "Share the Road Safely."


Car Drivers

  • Cutting in front can cut your life short! Avoid cutting in front of other vehicles as you may create an emergency braking situation for others around you, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Buckle your seat belt! ALWAYS!
  • Watch your blind spots and the "No Zones" around trucks and buses.
  • Inattentive drivers. While driving, please focus only on the road. If you need to attend to another matter while driving (cell phones, kids, application of cosmetics, etc.) safely pull over in a parking lot or rest stop.
  • Avoid aggressive drivers and driving aggressively. Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, making frequent lane changes and tailgating can create dangerous and potentially fatal situations on the road.
  • Avoid squeeze play. Be careful of trucks and buses making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you could be caught in a squeeze and suffer a serious accident.
  • Keep up with the maintenance on your vehicle! 
  • Never drink and drive!

Motorcycle Drivers

  • Watch the "No-Zones". Never hang out in a truck's blind spot or "No-Zone".
  • Always wear a helmet!
  • Drive to survive! Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road and offer no protection in a crash. Be cautious, pay attention to the signals and brakes of other vehicles, especially trucks!
  • Check yourself and your bike. Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride and be sure to wear the proper protective gear.
  • Watch your speed!

Truck and Bus Drivers

  • Take care of yourself! The most important part of a moving truck or bus is the driver. Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel, eat well and stay fit!
  • Always maintain your vehicle
  • Be aware of your "No-Zone"! The "No-Zone" represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the "No-Zone".
  • Slow down in work zones!
  • Always keep your distance - leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Fasten your seat belt. Buckle up for safety and control.
  • Always drive defensively and AVOID aggressive drivers!
  • Work to help yourselves. Help stranded motorists, notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe road conditions and other situations that can lead to crashes.


  • Watch your walkways. Walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible. Pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on corners.
  • Know your "No Zones". Be aware of blind spots around trucks, buses and cars when walking near and around them.
  • Stopping Distances. Use caution when crossing intersections and streets. You may think vehicles will stop for you, but they may not see you or even be able to stop. Never take a chance with a truck, even if the driver sees you, they may not be able to stop. Truck brakes and gears are notorious for sticking.
  • Make Yourself Visible. Wear bright or reflective clothing.
  • Watch our for wide loads. Trucks with wide loads may have very limited visibility as well as difficulty maneuvering.


  • Wear your helmet!
  • Bikers Beware. Always be aware of the traffic around you. Never assume that all drivers see you. Ride defensively.
  • Check your brakes and be prepared to stop.
  • Ride with traffic. Ride on the right side, with the flow of traffic.
Beware of the "No-Zone." Never sneak in between a truck or bus and the curb, or you could get crushed. Be aware that large trucks have blind spots in the front, back and on the sides, which make it difficult for the driver to see around them.

For more information about traffic safety tips and information, visit the website for Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weather Bulletin Monday, Oct. 7, 2013: Tornado Watch

Monday, October 7, 2013
Weather Information Bulletin: Released by Bergen County Office of Emergency Management
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Northern New Jersey until 5 pm today Oct. 7, 2013. The Tornado Watch area extends from Washington DC to the lower Eastern region of New York State.
A cold front producing a line of thunderstorms will be moving from the east throughout the day.
Current NWS predictions:
A slight chance of showers before noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between noon and 3 pm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. High near 78. Breezy with a south wind 13-20 MPH with gusts as high as 33 MPH. Chance of precipitation is 90 %. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch is possible.
Please monitor local weather conditions.
Additional bulletins will be issued as necessary.

PSE&G warning customers about phone scams

PSE&G is once again urging its customers to be vigilant to a telephone scam where callers threaten to shut off electric or gas service if payment is not made that day.

Residential and small business customers have reported receiving these deceptive phone calls from individuals pretending to be PSE&G employees. The callers demand that customers make a payment within hours using a Green Dot Money Pak, a type of pre-paid card available at pharmacies and convenience stores. PSE&G does not accept these cards. The utility offers a variety of payment options, and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment.

Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call from PSE&G — especially one in which payment is requested — should call the utility directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank You to Crossing Guard Dos Doheny

Capt. Madalone, Dos Doheny, Chief Carr and Lt. Stapleton.
Records clerk Sue Frei, Dos Doheny and records clerk Vickie Vradenburg.
On Tuesday, October 1, BPD officers, civilian personnel, and all of Bergenfield's dedicated School Crossing Guards came to headquarters to thank one of their own who retired from her crossing guard position as of the first of the month. Dos Doheny, who served in the position since September 2000, was surprised in the BPD Squad Room by her colleagues, police supervisors, and her biggest supporter and son, Detective Kevin Doheny. 

Dos was assigned to the Jefferson School post at Hickory and Third. She was very instrumental in maintaining the safety of many Jefferson School children over the years. Her desire to create the safest school zone on a busy traveled road such as Hickory Avenue gave her the nickname "The Cone Lady." Dos utilized more cones than the NJ Division of Transportation uses in NJ Turnpike construction zones. She created a more visible area for the crossing zone in front of Jefferson School. 

The result was a safe school zone every single day, 180 school days of the year. She also assisted the Traffic Supervisor in managing the time sheets and school post coverage for all the guards. She will surely be missed by her colleagues, the officers, and especially the students at Jefferson School.

Detective Kevin Doheny with Dos "Mom" Doheny at the retirement celebration.
BPD sends a big THANK YOU to Dos Doheny for a job well done.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Local law enforcement supports End DWI

Supporters of End DWI at the ceremony and remembrance walk held last weekend in Paramus.
This past Sunday, September 29, local law enforcement members, volunteers, supporters and victims of driving while intoxicated accidents gathered in Van Saun Park for the first annual End DWI Walk of Remembrance.

The mission of End DWI is "to provide support to victims and families effected by impaired driving through a myriad of services and to create public awareness about devastating effects and the need to end driving while intoxicated."

Approximately 150 people attended the first annual event held at the End DWI Memorial Tree Grove. More than 20 police chiefs and law enforcement members from Bergen County were in attendance at the event to support the efforts of this organization. Our own Police Chief Michael Carr, a member of the Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County, played the bagpipes during the ceremony,

The ceremony in the Memorial Tree Grove was followed by a 1 1/2 mile walk through Van Saun Park.

End DWI is looking for both volunteers as well as funding. If you are interested in donating to the organization or becoming a volunteer, email or mail to END DWI, P.O. Box 156, Bogota, NJ 07603.

It is important that we all support organizations such as End DWI, which seek to honor the memory of those lost to DWI accidents, help the families left behind and work to bring an end to this senseless, preventable crime.

For more information, visit the End DWI website.

To read an article about the event, click here.