Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cub Scout Pack 613 Tours BPD HQs

Scouts learn about police work in the department squad room.
On Tuesday evening, November 4, scouts from Pack 613, made up of Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts and Webelos from the communities of Bergenfield, Fair Lawn and Teaneck, visited the Bergenfield Police Department's headquarters for a tour and to learn about the department, its facility, equipment and technology,  as well as how to stay safe and prevent crime.

Police Officer Robert Mader guided the tour speaking about the history of the department and then showing some historical police items, which included an original police blotter book from 1922. This book and many other items are on display in the main hallway at Borough Hall in the police department's display cabinet.

PO Rob Mader and Pack 613 getting started

The tour then moved on to the secured areas of the station where the scouts were shown the 911 Communication Center. There they met with the telecommunicators who were actively working the police radios, dispatching units to various calls for service that were received via the standard telephone line of 201-387-4000 or via 911. They also observed how computer technology at the communication center played a vital role in retrieving important data concerning vehicles, driver's licenses, stolen property or wanted persons. Scouts then moved to the one area  that they were anxious to see: the jail cell. Here they learned about the use of and securing of the heavy iron bar cell doors as well the type of prisoners could be placed into the cells.
Jail Cells

Live Scan Fingerprinting
Scouts were then shown the Live Scan fingerprint scanner and computer program.Officer Mader demonstrated the machine and had some of the scouts themselves provide their prints to see what fingerprints look like. Officer Mader described how this technology has reduced the time it takes to identify individuals and how they have solved many cases in police work. The scouts learned that each and every one of them has a unique set of fingerprints.

The scouts then toured the various offices and bureaus within the department, which included the detective bureau. Here, the scouts saw the police interview room, which detectives use to interview victims or suspects in order to piece together information and determine facts in order to solve a crime or incident. The important part of this room that the scouts learned about was the electronic recording of the interview using the video and audio recording equipment.

The scouts also saw the Juvenile Bureau and were welcomed by the Chief of Police into his office. The scouts were very helpful to the chief who was preparing the budget for the department for the next calendar year. The scouts recommended keeping a tight rein on spending, including overtime costs to keep within the budget cap, however, they felt very strong on providing budget monies for ongoing training for the officers. Great recommendation scouts!

Squad Room line up; 1900-0700 Tour; November 4, 2014
The tour ended up in the squad room where Officer Mader explained how the room is used for the start of each tour of duty. The scouts learned that here, the officers are given their assignments, briefed on incidents, events and crimes that had been reported since their last shift, provided wanted or missing person alerts and are inspected by the Officer in Charge, who is either the Sergeant or Lieutenant.The scouts were impressed by the department's Smart Board, which is the latest technology added to help in conducting training for the officers. The scouts then were given the opportunity to ask questions to Officer Mader and Chief Carr.

The scouts were very impressive with their questions, which ranged from asking how the officers patrol, which cars they drive, how they arrest people, and what an assault is, to name just a few. Equally impressive were the answers the scouts gave for various questions posed by the Chief and Officer Mader concerning crime prevention and civic duty. 

The tour of BPD was a big success for Pack 613. They learned that the police department also has a Mission Statement like scouting and officers also take an oath, follow and enforce the laws. Officers must be of good character and have high ethical standards and values, just like scouting promotes. But, the most obvious similarity between the scouts and police officers is that both are dedicated to citizenship, service and leadership. Pack 613 displayed these qualities on Tuesday night. There is no doubt they have earned their badges.

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