PICTURE THE HUB: GIVING TIME
Editors note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
I volunteered with the Westwood Police Reserves for 35 years. It started in 1959. Five guys retired at one time. But we just kept seeing the ranks diminishing and so we kept encouraging guys to volunteer with the reserves. Some tried to become police officers – some made it – some didn’t. I myself took the test three or four times to become a regular but I continued my volunteer services. It was a sacrifice but I was there.
Most of the reserves were from Westwood. Some of them were with us for just a few months before they joined a police department. In my time about 30 reserves became police officers.
But now that I retired, no one wanted to take over the program, so we don’t have a police reserves right now. I felt bad. I love this program. We were needed in Westwood. We’re The Hub! Everyone comes to us.
We had meetings and different programs instead of just policing. We wanted to bring in companies like PSEG to show us about power issues; the Bergen County prosecutors to show us the jail; whatever anyone could come up with that would enhance their education. And we had a few people to come in and tell us about training, dispatch, handcuffs, how to handle a weapon, etc.
I’ve been in Westwood since the 1970s. My brother in-law tried to encourage me to join earlier than I did. I probably would have went down the wrong road if I didn’t join. I just loved it. But we don’t have the program now. If someone in their 20s or 30s wants to get involved in the community I would say that they should join the ambulance corps or the fire department.
TO DONATE TO CELEBRATE WESTWOOD FOLLOW THIS LINK: GIVING TIME