Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ever wonder what the average night is like for local police officers? The Bergenfield PD aimed to answer that question for locals on December 6 by tweeting throughout an officer’s patrol. Police Chief Michael T. Carr and Captain Cathy Madalone joined Officer Kyle Witty as his official tweeters.

The day after, the department posted a blog about the virtual ride-along restating their goal as informing the public by allowing them to see, through photos, and read, through tweets, “what an officer has to face, be aware of, investigate, and make decisions on, sometimes in a split second, all in real-time.”

At 4:00 pm, officers gathered to receive pertinent information and the night’s sector assignments. A half hour later, all three officers set out for the night and released information about a planned meet and greet for anyone interested at a donut shop. “Let the jokes begin,” they tweeted.

Before the meet, Officer Witty pulled a driver over to speak with him about proper driving protocol. The driver was released without any ticket. Witty checked Bergenfield streets, Franklin School and Cooper Pond before heading over to Dunkin’ Donuts to meet local patrons, many of whom were following the department tweets.

From the meet and greet, the three officers headed to Matthew’s Diner where Louis Newkirk, a missing Englewood resident, was spotted. As the night continued, a suspicious vehicle was examined and another was towed for an expired registration.

“Police officers have an impact on lives of citizens on a daily basis,” Chief Carr said in his day- after post. “In some instances it may not be the best time of someone’s life, but we want the public to remember that officers also have a human side too. By using the technological tools of communication that are available to us, we can hopefully show that side of a police officer and strengthen the relationship with the public.”

By Aliza Chasan