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Photo by Fritz Rethage

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Citizen's Police Academy:
CSI Meets Law & Order 2006

[HHPD unofficial page]

The Hasbrouck Heights Police Department held their 2nd "Citizens Police Academy: CSI Meets Law and Order" for Hasbrouck Heights adult residents.

The four week program was held on April 5th, 12th, 19th and May 3rd. The course was led by Jr. Police Academy instructor Michael Stillman of Hasbrouck Heights High School who has led the Jr. Police Academy for 7 years. Police Chief Michael Colaneri and Captain Jack DeLorenzo provided support during each session.

The first segment began with witness identification. The information asked by law enforcement to identify a person includes age, gender, appearance (i.e., glasses, height, facial hair, scars or tattoos, skin tone, etc.).

There was an interactive demonstration of "Faces" software used to create composite sketches. It was emphasized that sketches are representative and not meant to be a photograph.

A discussion about crime scenes followed with an explanation of the investigative process from the first patrol officer on the scene, to setting up perimeters, taking photos and sketches of the scene, collecting relevant information, establishing the chain of evidence, etc.

The second session was presented by Sgt. Ryan Magnotta of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). This unit processes crime scenes for Bergen County police departments such as homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies and other serious felonies.

He provided an overview of their facility in Hackensack.

Sgt. Magnotta discussed the careful processing of a crime scene to include photographing evidence, maintaining the chain of evidence, detective interviews, canvassing, checking leads, etc. He stated that their goal is to be able to re-create a crime scene.

Sgt. Magnotta gave detailed background information on fingerprint identification, ballistics, and DNA. He explained the supporting role of the State Police lab in crime scene investigations.

Sgt. Magnotta reviewed recent Bergen County cases and how information gathered at the crime scene helped in apprehension of suspects.

After the lecture, the class had hands on experience processing a staged murder crime scene with interviews.

The third class was held at the HH Police Firing Range and led by Det. Joe Rinke, one of the three Department’s weapons instructors. The class was introduced to the equipment HH police officers use to include safety vests, batons, hand cuffs, etc.

Various weapons were exhibited and discussed, followed by a live fire demonstration of a shotgun and 9 mm duty weapon used by the HHPD. He provided details about the range, various targets, training, etc.

The final program began with a demonstration of the proper procedures used to make a traffic stop in a patrol car.

The course concluded in Hasbrouck Heights Municipal Court, with a mock trial presented by the Hasbrouck Heights High School Mock Trial Team who participated in the state competition sponsored by the NJ State Bar Foundation.

Certificates were awarded at the conclusion of the program. ###

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