The BCPO Dispatch

Creation of Community Engagement Task Force

To provide more prevention and education programs to Bergen County schools and communities, the BCPO created the Community Engagement Task Force. The CETF is a network of police officers from throughout the County whose mission is to share ideas, best practices, and work collaboratively to strengthen law enforcement’s relationship with their communities.

In addition to awareness programs about the pathways to addiction or the dangers of drunk or distracted driving, law enforcement agencies will partner on programs like the Law Enforcement Community Affairs Program, in which young people learn about interactions with law enforcement and are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback to police.

BCPO Chaplain Bureau

Prosecutor Musella has established a BCPO Chaplain Bureau whose role is to provide spiritual support to the BCPO family and serve as community liaisons. Chaplains provide appropriate assistance, advice, comfort, counsel and referrals to members of the BCPO who may request support.

We recognize that the challenges of the pandemic have been trying for everyone, and particularly for first responders. A crucial component of wellness is mental health and stress management, and our chaplains are available to offer emotional and spiritual support to those in need.

Our chaplains, who represent various faiths across Bergen County, are: Pastor Peter Ahn, Imam Moutaz Charaf, Father Sam Citero, Rabbi David Fine, Rabbi Daniel Fridman, Rabbi Joel Friedman, Dr. Rajinder Gandhi, Rev. Dr. Marilyn Harris, and Rev. Gregory Jackson.

The BCPO is truly grateful for their service to the Bergen County community.

National Night Out: Dog Walker Watch

The first Tuesday in August is celebrated nationally as America’s night out against crime. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood rapport to make neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Many Bergen County towns offered family friendly activities, food, and informational giveaways.

This year, representatives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office joined local police departments in Englewood, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook, where the BCPO launched the Dog Walker Watch program. This program was created by the National Association of Town Watch and encourages local residents to assist law enforcement as extra eyes and ears while out walking their dogs. The program enhances the partnership between police and community while providing resources for neighbors to be more aware and to learn how to effectively observe and report suspicious activity. Anyone who signs up as a program participant receives a bright red Dog Walker Watch bandana for their dog.

“National Night Out is a valuable opportunity for us to engage with local residents and share the important work being done by the BCPO as well as prevention and safety messages,” said Prosecutor Mark Musella. “This year, we are pleased to launch the Dog Walker Watch program to enhance communication between law enforcement and community members and create safer neighborhoods.”

Any Bergen County resident interested in joining the Dog Walker Watch program can contact to receive information and a bandana.

Chief for a Day

Every year, the BCPO is proud to participate in the “Chief for a Day” program sponsored by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, as law enforcement agencies set aside the day to bring cheer to children with chronic health conditions.

This year, Prosecutor Mark Musella and Chief Jason Love swore in 6-year-old Chief Eros Amador of New Milford as #BCPONJ’s honorary Chief of Detectives. The day began with a visit to Chief Eros’ school and a police escort to the Bergen County Courthouse, and it ended with food and fun at Van Saun Park.

Many thanks to Sheriff Anthony Cureton and the BCSO, Bergen County Presiding Criminal Judge Margaret Foti, and everyone who helped make this year’s event so special. We look forward to a long-lasting friendship with Chief Eros. Welcome to the BCPO family!

ABC 7 Eyewitness News story: