May 4, 2014 at 7:42 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Annual Essex County Police Expo returned to Livingston Mall on Saturday, hosted by the Essex County Crime Prevention Officer’s Association.
The event including live demonstrations and many displays of equipment used by local departments as well as police vehicles. The opening ceremonies, led by a bagpiper, featured a procession of officers as well as the Newark Police Explorers, a group of 13- to 17-year-old boys and girls who meet twice a week to learn more about law enforcement from officer mentors.
The National Anthem was played and Livingston police officer Gary Mankowitz awarded plaques for Officer of the Year to Livingston police officer Joy Klapel and Special Recognition to Police Academy director Rocco Miscia.
Representatives from the New Jersey’s Animal Cops, the NJSPCA , the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.) and the Essex County Police Academy interacted with the public, educating people about preventing cruelty to animals, proper use of children’s car safety seats, internet safety techniques, and crime prevention.
“Essex County College Police Academy is proud, once again to participate in the Public Safety Expo," Miscia said. "We have partnered with the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers for the past decade and we are strong supporters of this and other events that bring together the public safety professionals and the public we serve.”
Special appearances were made by Batman and The Joker, who posed for photos by a new modern version of the Batmobile as well as one of the original Batmobiles featured in the 1966 TV series, designed by George Barris and owned by Lou and Anne Marie Magnifico. Batman, Detective Genaro Ortiz Jr. of the Newark Police Department’s Community Affairs Division had a message for the young fans: “Not all heroes wear masks- help a friend or stranger. Stop bullying and be a hero.”
The Kidgits Club provided games and sand art while Kid Care Child ID program processed identification cards with photos and finger prints for children.