SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- For four weeks, members of the Asian-American community are learning about American law enforcement through a special program hosted by Saddle Brook police.
Various speakers -- among them, County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal and County Executive Jim Tedesco -- have addressed members of the International Law Enforcement Federation (ILEF), founded by David Chong.
The 15-hour Community Policing Program aims to "develop and maintain relationships and to build trust between the police and the communities they serve, especially with those of minority and diverse backgrounds," Chong said.
"Police and citizens often come into contact with each other for reasons other than motor vehicle stops or criminal investigations and/or arrests," Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler said. "In addition to enforcement of law, police officers often engage in community service, including providing information and/or assistance to people in need, as well as offering community education and outreach assistance programs.
"We find it easy when it comes from the heart.
Bao "Jessie" Zhou, the owner/operator of Dynasty Buffet Restaurant called it a "warm and pleasant feeling to be welcomed and treated with respect by our local police department."
In addition to Kugler, Grewal and Tedesco, listed speakers include Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White, former Morris County Chief of Detectives and Undersheriff William Schievella, Saddle Brook Municipal Prosecutor Kelli Reyes and Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Gloria Oh.
The group began meeting the end of January from 6:30-9 p.m. on Tuesdays at police headquarters. Members will graduate with certificates in Community Policing on March 2.