WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- "More P.T., Sir! More P.T!"

Those were the shouts from recruits at the 2019 Wood-Ridge Junior Police Academy during their demonstration of physical training exercises at the graduation ceremony before family and friends at Catherine E. Doyle. It is the third annual program hosted by the Wood-Ridge Police Department, which is open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. This was the biggest class with 50 recruits.

The week-long program was held at Doyle School the first full week of summer vacation, from Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28. The program gives recruits an overview of law enforcement's duties and responsibilities. Junior Academy Instructors for the program were Detective David Marchitelli, Officer Joe Vitkovsky, and Officer Robert Cangialosi. They were assisted by Junior Instructors Matthew Murray, Andrew Kriegel, and Remy Ottevaere, who had previously completed the course and returned to assist for the week.

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Throughout the week, the recruits did physical training and drills, including marching, saluting, and standing at attention, relay races and team-building activities. They learned about motor vehicle stops and how to subdue a suspect, among other topics. Guest speakers visited from the Bergen County Sheriff's Office's K9 Team and SWAT Team. On Wednesday, motorcycle officers from both Wood-Ridge Police Department and Carlstadt Police Department tutored the recruits on the special training needed to be a motorcycle cop. Then Lt. Thomas Negro and Police Officer Jason Columbo of Carlstadt PD and WRPD Officer Robert Jones navigated their motorcycles through an obstacle course, showing the skill and precision of operating a bike. On Thursday, the class visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

At the graduation ceremony, Detective David Marchitelli noted that the recruits "gave up a week of summer vacation" and "made a positive decision that will effect them the rest of their lives," saying police work was "more of a calling."

Wood-Ridge Police Chief John Korin thanked Marchitelli and Vitkovsky for running the program, saying they had "done an outstanding job with it."  He explained the program started three years ago with 23 students. He said that three-quarters of the department volunteered and assisted with putting the program together.

"You did an outstanding job and we're extremely proud of you," said Korin to the recruits.

Each recruit was called on stage to receive their certificate and was congratulations by members of the WRPD. After the ceremony, recruits posed for photos with the instructors and family.


Jr. Academy Instructors: Detective David Marchitelli Officer Joe Vitkovsky Officer Robert Cangialosi

Jr. Instructors: Matthew Murray, Andrew Kriegel, Remy Ottevaere

Michael Marchitelli

Ryleigh Lange                                    Paige Christiana

Corrado Scarimbolo                        Aida Murray

Kameron Crews                                Jake Wall

Mia Sebastian                                    Christopher Schweizer

Eric Hayes                                           Lily Sebastian

Brooke Stellato                                 Owen Dodds

Dylan Banks                                        Isabella Drotos

Gianna Sollitti                                     Lucas Mendoza

Anthony Onnembo                         Angelina Rella

Sarah Mennella                                Christopher Rios

Nicholas Scalera                                Annie Marchitelli             

Samantha Raymond                        Fiona Helly

Jenna Reinhart                                  Ava Rios Sal Catanzaro

Alyssa Crea                                         Mary Grace Milne

Peter Larosa                                       Josh Agosta

Juller Perez                                         Dominick Buonomo

Thomas Byrne                                   Anthony Drotos

Joseph  Petruno                                Jillian D’Agnese

Grace Ottevaere                              Brandon DiMascio

Ella Scarvaglione                               Bridget Marquez             

Chase Lopresti                                   Marcus Nesci

Jack Milne                                           Noelle Savonije

Kiriakos Tsocanos                             Abraham Guerra

Gianfranco Gentile                          Anthony Carola


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