Nearly two dozen children with chronic health conditions from across Bergen County got to serve as Police “Chief for a Day” for their towns on Friday.
The sixth annual event, sponsored by Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, included motorcade rides to the steps of the county courthouse in Hackensack for the youngsters, aged six to 15.
Each got his or her own uniform at the various agencies, including the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices.
The youngsters included Diego Estrada of Fairview, who has a rare blood disorder that causes him to age rapidly .
"In 22-plus years in law enforcement, this one day stands at the very top," Fairview Police Chief Martin Kahn said. "So humbling when you can have an impact on a child's life."
Saudino, a former Emerson police chief, created “Chief for a Day” with a modest number of chiefs and other officers soon after becoming sheriff.
The event quickly became one of the most popular outings in the county.
A host of businesses contributed the uniforms, plaques, meals and other amenities that go with the special behind-the-scenes look that the children and their families got into the inner workings of law enforcement.
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The "Chief For a Day" participants:
- Bergen County Sheriff's Office — Justin Pagan
- Bergen County Prosecutor's Office — Mason Kidd
- Bergenfield Police Department — Gisselle Nunez
- Carlstadt Police Department — Isaiah O'Leary
- East Rutherford Police Department — Vanessa Uribe-Garcia
- Elmwood Park Police Department — Gavon Cheski
- Emerson Police Department — Hugh Hennessey
- Englewood Cliffs Police Department — Jun Chul Shin
- Fair Lawn Police Department — David Hickey
- Fairview Police Department — Diego Estrada
- Fort Lee Police Department — Briana Lopez
- Garfield Police Department — Humberto Portal
- Hasbrouck Heights Police Department — Jack Oettinger
- Haworth Police Department — Brennon McGoldrick
- Montvale Police Department — Eva Martinez
- Moonachie Police Department — Jacob Inoue
- North Arlington Police Department — Dante Basciano
- Paramus Police Department — Neha Kurian
- Park Ridge Police Department — Alexander Hermann
- Rutherford Police Department — Jack Boylan
- Saddle Brook Police Department — Samantha Maniscalco
- Teaneck Police Department — Everette Negrin
- Upper Saddle River Police Department — Brian Derek Baron
- Wallington Police Department — Amelia Rowniewski
- Westwood Police Department — Tyler Gehringer
- Woodcliff Lake Police Department — Jack Albanese
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