Thursday, June 14, 2007

Prom Tragedy Prevention: Community Policing Initiative

On Thursday, June 14, 2007, I was invited by Chief Michael Saudino of the Emerson Police Department in Bergen County, New Jersey, to witness an extraordinary community policing initiative. Seniors from Emerson High School were reminded of their obligation to be responsible, vigilant and safe so prom night can be remembered as a celebration of their youth.

Captain David F. Hayes of the Emerson Police Department, who also serves as its Emergency Management Coordinator, put together the fifth annual prom safety awareness program with the collaboration of:

  • Emerson High School
  • Emerson Police Department
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office
  • Bergen County Medical Examiners
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • Emerson Fire Department
  • Emerson Ambulance Corp
  • Rich's Auto Body Specialists
The program included a simulated accident with a drunk high school driver causing the fatality of a friend in the vehicle. Individuals in a second vehicle were also injured in the accident.

After the simulation, the training event moved to an Emerson court room where arraignment, fines, license revocation, death by auto charges and civil lawsuit issues were explained by a judge. Compounding these punishments is the life long memory that one's irresponsible behavior took the life of a friend.

The community of Emerson is to be commended for this tragedy prevention model for the nation and working to make the prom an event to cherish rather than to mourn.


SADD – Planning a Safe Prom Click here to visit site
Vincent Bove May 7, 2007 Blog Click here to visit site

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