Left to right: Deputy Chief Tim Ford, Officer Carlos Cabrera, Detective Thomas Keelen and Chief Keith Bendul
Two officers from the Fort Lee Police Department were honored for their staunch efforts in combating drunk drivers in Bergen County. Officers Carlos Cabrera and Tom Keelen received awards of recognition from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), at a ceremony at Monmouth University in West Long Branch today. Cabrera a Fort Lee Officer for 22 years, received the top award for arrests in Bergen County. Keelen received a letter of recognition for his work. Collectively, both officers have made and or assisted in over 100 drunk driving arrests over the year. Their tenacious efforts to take Drunk or Drugged Drivers off our streets has potentially saved countless lives from the dangers of these individuals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on average one person died every 52 minutes during 2013 nationally as a result of an impaired driver.
During the annual recognition ceremony held at Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ, the non-profit organization recognized Police Officer Carlos Cabrera for a fourth straight year and Police Officer Tom Keelen for the third time. Each officer received a Certificate of Recognition for their proactive work in combating drunk driving. Also present for the ceremony were Police Chief Keith Bendul and Deputy Chief Timothy Ford.
The Law Enforcement Recognition program, now in its fifth year, recognized more than 500 officers for their "lifesaving work" this year. The New Jersey MADD Organization is in its 35th year of existence.
Motorists are encouraged to use a designated driver or call a taxi if drinking.
The Fort Lee Police as well as other state, county and local jurisdictions will continue to have increased DWI Patrols as we head into the graduation season and summer vacation season.
Vigilant Officers such as Cabrera and Keelen remain a force in readiness, always present to keep Fort Lee streets safer with their efforts against drunk driving.
Chief Bendul and PBA President Tom Keelen with Chief Wu.
Mayor Sokolich swearing in Chief-for-a-Day Rocco Wu.
Fort Lee Police Department participated in the county’s Annual Chief-For-A-Day Program. The program was started by Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino five years ago.
Rocco Wu, age 7, in his new blue uniform was sworn in as Chief-for-a-Day by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich in the presence of Chief Keith Bendul and Deputy Chief Timothy Ford. The ceremony was coordinated by Det. Vincent Buda, the School Resource Officer for School #2 where Chief Wu is a student. Also attending the ceremony was Principal Martin and Chief Wu’s mother.
After being sworn in, Chief Wu was escorted to work by the department’s motorcycles. At headquarters Chief Wu and his mother toured the building learning about the department’s history and functions. He inspected officers and the civilian staff working under his command. The two Chiefs reviewed activity and discussed police operations.
Chief Wu and his mother were then driven out to the Bergen County Courthouse steps where he met chiefs for the other participating police departments. Chief Wu had the opportunity to meet the Bergen County Sheriff, Sheriff Saudino. The entire group was then led by motorcycle escort to the Empire Club for a luncheon honoring each of the new Chiefs. During the ceremony Chief Wu received a plaque, and a large drawing kit from the Fort Lee PBA President Keelen.
Chief Keith Bendul stated that it was an honor to participate in a program that recognizes the courage displayed on a daily basis by the honorees. As police officers we serve our community in many important ways. Making a child smile with happiness is one of the best aspects of his job.
Today Officer Cristina Blue received two child safety seats from AAA North Jersey in Oradell. This initiative provided two car seats at no cost to the taxpayers courtesy of AAA North Jersey. These child sfaety restraint seats will be used by police officers in the event that children need to be transported during unforseen circumstances.
On Wednesday March 18, 2015, Patrol Officers from the Fort Lee Police Department responded to Starbucks, located at 1605 Lemoine Avenue on a 911 call of a possible overdose. A concerned citizen called 911 to report the medical emergency, and the caller along with another good Samaritan began CPR at the instructions of Fort Lee’s 911 Dispatcher Donna Iafelice. PO Stephen Domenick and PO John C. Klein arrived on scene and immediately continued to render first aid. PO Domenick found the victim was barely breathing and had a very light pulse, and he administered one dose of Narcan to the victim who immediately responded. After the first dose, PO Klein began to rescue breathing while PO Domenick continued to assess the victim. PO Domenick administered a second dose of Narcan and the victim began reacting positively. The Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Paramedics arrived on scene and transported the victim to Holy Name Hospital for further medical treatment. The victim was not charged criminally. The victim’s identity is not being release due to the confidentiality of the medical call.
While on scene, a friend of the victim Jake A. LEVY was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and he was placed under arrest by PO Klein. Mr. Levy stated he and his friend had an argument inside of Starbucks. During the argument, Levy went to use the bathroom and when he returned he noticed the police were on scene rendering first aid to his friend. Levy was unaware that his friend was in medical distress until he exited the restroom and saw first responders treating his friend. The swift actions of the two citizens who called 911 and performed CPR were of a great assistance to the victim, the Fort Lee Police Department and the Fort Lee Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
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