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Township of Washington
350 Hudson Avenue

Twp. of Washington, NJ  07676


Pascack Valley Junior Police Academy 2016
The Pascack Valley Junior Police Academy provides a fun week year after year to the children of the Twp. of Washington, Westwood and Hillsdale.

 A 2-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Paterson K9 Unit dashed across the field at Westwood Regional High School on Wednesday. Waiting for his bite on the other side was a Paterson police officer, well-protected in a padded suit.

The show kept 125 children in suspense at the Pascack Valley Junior Police Academy at the Westwood Regional High School in Washington Twp. This is Lt Richard Skinner’s 16th year running the program.
"It's just a great way for police officers and the children of our communities to get to know one another," Skinner said. "Most of the Officers are either current or former D.A.R.E. officers and are involved in schools already, so it's kind of a natural fit."

The week-long program is a collaboration of the Washington Township, Westwood and Hillsdale Police Departments for children 10 to 14.  This program receives a large amount of applications every year and the past two years had filled up within weeks before the application deadline due to its popularity amongst the children in the Pascack Valley.  Most of the children come back year after year because every year the program is improved, elevating the level of excellence it puts out. 

One of the benefits is to help them build friendships with other children and Officers in surrounding towns, and to educate them on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and conducting yourself as a good citizen.
Each morning begins with a physical training session. Sample Fitness, ran by Travis Sample, provided this service to the program.  He is not only a lifelong resident of Washington Twp., but a former student of the D>A>R>E program taught by Lt. Richard Skinner and P.O. Heather Castronova The rest of the day is filled with various demonstrations which include instructors P.O. Anthony Piccinich, P.O. Niko Pieratos of Westwood PD and P.O. Alex Kaplan, P.O. David Sayers and P.O. Brian Constadine of Hillsdale P.D.

Some of the agencies that attended were the Paramus Motorcycle Unit, Bergen County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad, DEA, Washington Township Fire Department and NJ Nation Air Guard who all volunteered their time to provide giving demonstrations.

Recruits visited the U.S. Marshall's Trading Center on Thursday, and observed a Helicopter landing by Air Med One from Hackensack University Medical Center on Friday for a fun ending to the week on Graduation Day.

Chief Glenn Hooper appreciates the collaborative effort between all of the three agencies to keep this program up and running every year.  Chief Hooper is also proud to have one of the largest and longest running Junior Police Academies in Bergen County.

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