Who knew you could be fired from your job, put behind bars and bossed around by children under the age of 16? Well, Giovanni Capuano, Nour Altulahi and others old did just thatafter being appointed police chief on Friday at the annual Bergen County Chief for a Day celebration.
The Prosecutor’s Office and local police departments pick children who are experiencing chronic health conditions and gives them a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement.
Local departments were scheduled to arrive at the steps of the Bergen County Justice Center with their newly appointed chiefs. Then a motorcade would escort the children and their families to an event space in Englewood for a fun-filled day with games and activities.
Giovanni, diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, was appointed chief by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office by Anthony Cureton, who drove him around the parking lot in a slingshot vehicle. “The young man has a lot of enthusiasm about himself. I think I got fired three times,” Cuerton said.
As the children arrived at the steps of the Bergen County Justice Center dressed in their Chief for a Day uniforms, they were greeted by other members of law enforcement, including a K-9 dog.
Among those in attendance were representatives from the Bergen County Regional SWAT team, the Bomb Squad and the Prosecutor’s Office, along with their respective vehicles.
The children and their families were given a tour inside the vehicles to see all the amazing gadgets they have. They were able to wear bulletproof vests and helmets provided by the SWAT team and navigate a robot that that is used to see inside buildings.
“It’s a day they’re going to remember,” Cureton said. “We give them a photograph recognizing this day. It’s something they’ll carry with them.”
Girl Scouts from Troop 60451, Manalapan, recently partnered with Undies for Everyone, a national organization which provides children who are living in poverty or in crisis with new underwear.
The girls in Troop 60451, who are 9, 10 and 11 years old, collected more than 3,400 pairs of underwear with the assistance of generous donations from the community, according to troop leaders Lisa Korman and Jenn Chan.
The girls sorted the underwear into different sizes for boys and girls, and then gathered on June 16 at the Manalapan Recreation Center to package the underwear for distribution.
Each package consisted of seven pairs of underwear so the recipients can have a week’s worth of new, clean underwear. The underwear will be distributed through local charities, helping children in local communities, according to Korman and Chan.
The girls raised money to buy underwear by selling cookies. They shopped for the underwear, solicited family members and friends for donations, and designed several ideas for patches.