North Bergen recognizes inaugural Citizen Police Academy’s graduating class


The Township of North Bergen recognized their inaugural Citizen Police Academy’s graduating class of eight at last week’s board of commissioners meeting.

Photo courtesy of the Township of North Bergen.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The eight graduates, who each received a certificate of achievement, are Carlos G. Almeida, Jose M. Delgado, Brian T. Hernandez, Marco R. Hernandez, Stephanie Jimenez, Carlos Rivas, Lisa Rosabal, and Art Schwartz.

“This graduating class of empowered citizens will help make our neighborhoods safe by working in partnership with our law enforcement and helping to build more cohesive communities,” state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Sacco said in a statement.

“Thank you to all of those that participated and I look forward to seeing more residents like yourselves take on this worthy challenge.”

The CPA is open to North Bergen residents only and is loosely based on a police academy recruit training program, allowing members of the community an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of skills and abilities that police officers bring to their work within the community.

Graduates underwent a 10-week training program that provided them with a background and deeper understanding of 21st century policing, and many expressed an interest in joining the NBPD in the future.

“The objective of the CPA is not to train an individual to be a police officer, but to produce knowledgeable citizens and promote community involvement, which is one of the most important resources any police department can hope to have,” added Police Chief Peter Fasilis.

“I want to thank Mayor Sacco and Commissioner Pascual for their continued support of our community outreach programs, which are vital to building trust and improving transparency within our community.”

Workshops were led by police academy instructors, and included discussions with representatives of specialized units, as well as role-playing and tactical exercises.

Training exercises also included:

• Training & response to opioids/narcotic (each student received a narcan kit upon completion)
• First aid & CPR
• Appropriate use of force
• Vehicular pursuit
• Traffic law enforcement (including a ride-a-long)
• Police response to mental illness & special needs (including de-escalation tactics)
• Introduction to firearms (participants trained with a state-of-the-art firearm training simulation system)
• Law enforcement technology
• Police defensive tactics (students participated in hand-on defensive tactics)
• Laws of arrest
• Domestic violence
• Crime scene procedures (training included lifting fingerprints from the mock crime scene)

“Congratulations to all of the graduates for undertaking this challenge and demonstrating their remarkable commitment to learning more about law enforcement and its role within the community,” said Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual.

“I am very proud to see individuals who understand the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and civilians, and who are now better equipped to help build trust and mutual understanding in their neighborhoods.”

The next Citizens Police Academy will be announced this fall. Anyone interested in participating at the next session may contact Captain Cynthia Montero at

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