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Ridgewood Police Train With Bergen County Regional SWAT Team

Ridgewood Officers Anthony Mormino and Joseph DiBenedetto and Sgt.Jay Chuck prepare to enter a room during a SWAT training exercise. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser
(L to R): Officer Anthony Mormino, Officer Joseph DiBenedetto, Sgt. Mike Lembo, Officer Steven Cummings, Sgt. Jay Chuck. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Ridgewood police officers tightened their cohesion with Bergen County Regional SWAT members on Thursday, practicing building approaches and entries, room clearings and other basic tactics.

"What we've been trying to do over the last five or six years is make sure our department is ready to handle any type of critical incident with the county regional SWAT team," village Police Chief John Ward told Daily Voice during the training session at Habernickel Park.

"We want to make sure we are on the same page as the members of their team and members of other departments," he said. "When you have a situation, you want all the players to know the rules of engagement and how you are going to move."

Members of the Ridgewood Emergency Response Team (ERT) and village patrol officers participated in the drill with the specialized unit -- made up of police and sheriff's officers from various Bergen towns and trained by U.S. Navy Seals.

Village police meet regularly with SWAT and other regional public safety departments because tactics are always evolving, Ward said.

"We are building an integrated training model to make sure everybody is always on the same page," the chief said. "That way things move quicker, things move safer, and we address the situations more effectively."

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